Pope Francis Approves Decree on Heroic Virtues of Sister Małgorzata Banaś (1896-1966) of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth
Holy Family University is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. On Monday, December 13, Pope Francis approved the decree on the heroic virtues of Sister Maria Małgorzata Banaś of the Heart of Jesus in Agony in the Garden (1896-1966) of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
The declaration of heroic virtue is an essential requirement for an individual to be beatified in the Catholic Church. Sister Małgorzata will now onwards be regarded as a Venerable Servant of God, or simply Venerable.
Born Ludwika Banaś in 1896 in Klecza Dolna, Poland, Sister Małgorzata spent her youth working with the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in a hospital in Wadowice. She entered the congregation shortly before her 21st birthday. In 1934, Sister Malgorzata was assigned to the convent in Nowogródek in Poland (present-day Navahrudak, Belarus), where she worked at a hospital. Just a few years later, Nowogródek would be occupied by the Soviet Union and later Germany during World War II and the town would experience many hardships. Sister Malgorzata was the only Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth at the convent to survive when Blessed Mary Stella and her Ten Companions were executed by a German firing squad. Blessed Mary Stella had asked Sister Małgorzata to stay behind to take care of the local church (known as the Fara) and pastor.
After discovering the mass grave of Blessed Mary Stella and her Ten Companions, Sister Malgorzata devoted the rest of her life to caring for the people of Nowogródek and the Fara. She helped continue religious teachings and the sacraments in Nowogródek after World War II while the town was part of the Soviet Union until her death on April 26, 1966.