Bl. Marta Anna Wiecka, D.C.

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Marta Anna Wiecka, DC

Marta Anna Wiecka
Birth January 1, 1974
Death May 30, 1904
Birthplace Nowy Wiec (Koscierzyna county, Pomerania, Poland)
Beatified May 24, 2008
Memorial May 30

Blessed Marta Anna Wiecka (January 1, 1874 – May 30, 1904), born in Nowy Wiec (Koscierzyna county, Pomerania, Poland) then in the Kingdom of Prussien, was the third of 13 children of Marceli Wiecki, a wealthy landowner, and his wife Paulina Kamrowska.. She was baptized January 18, 1874 in the parish church at Szczodrow. She received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion on September 8, 1886 at the church where she had been baptized.

At age 18 Marta entered the Province of Krakow of Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul at Krakow starting her Novitiate August 12, 1892 and then the Postulate (Seminary) April 21, 1893. She took her vows in the Congregation August 15, 1897. She served at hospitals in Lviv, which had about 1000 beds (1893 – 1894); Podhaytsi, while the facility was still under construction (1894 – 1899), Bochnia (1899 – 1902), and Sniatyn (1902 – 1904). In her work she was known to care not only for the corporal needs of the sick, but also to their spiritual needs. Conversions occurred as a result of her service.

While working at Sniatyn, Sister Wiecka learned that a hospital worker who was a young father had been given the job of disinfecting the room of someone sick with highly contagious typhoid fever. She volunteered to take the place of the young man and subsequently became ill with typhoid fever. The many prayers offered for her recovery included those at a special service held in a local synagogue. After a brief course of illness, she died on May 30, 1904 at the age of thirty. Her funeral was an occasion of grief shown by people of many religions -- Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Orthodox – and those who professed no religion at all.

Sister Wiecka’s tomb immediately became a place of pilgrimage. With the rise of the Soviet Union, the Daughters of Charity were forced to leave Sniatyn and, of course, Sister Wiecka’s remains. When they were at last able to return in 1993, they discovered that the tomb was covered with fresh flowers and that pilgrims were kneeling there to pray.

On June 26, 1997 Archbishop Marian Jaworski of Lviv opened the diocesan inquiry for the beatification of Sister Wiecka; he closed the inquiry on June 30, 1998. The decree of validity of the diocesan inquiry was proclaimed on April 9, 1999. She was recognized by the Church as having the cardinal theological virtues and exercising these in a heroic way in a decree of December 20, 2004, in which she was proclaimed Venerable. On July 6, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI authorized promulgation of a decree concerning her cause.

(Sniatyn, where Sister Wiecka died, was at the time of her death part of Poland under Austrian administration. After WWI it became a part of the USSR. Nowadays it is territory of Ukraine.)

Beatification of Marta Anna Wiecka, D.C. took place on May 24, 2008 in Bohdan Chmelnicki Culture Park in Lviv, Ukraine, and was presided by Msgr Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of Holy See in the presence of Latin archbishop of Lviv, cardinal Marian Jaworski and archbishop of Krakow, cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.

Other interesting VincentianWiki and external articles

  • If you want to read this article in Polish visit "Wiecka Marta Anna" entry in WincentyWiki -- Polish edition of Vincentian Encyclopedia