Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
is one of the oldest Sisters in the Polish Province. She celebrated her 93rd birthday on May the 29th this year. Only Sister M. Victorianis is five months older than she! This year Sister M. Emerita has thanked God for the 70th anniversary of profession.
Sister M. Emerita tells her story: My parents had beautiful names – Mary and Joseph. God apparently loved them in a special way because he gave them numerous offsprings – my
parents had four sons and no less than ten daughters. In regards of the daughters, God divided equally – five were given marital vocation and started families and the other five were given religious vocation and I was one of them. Even more we all chose our Franciscan congregation: Sisters: M. Perpiana, M. Erema, M. Gentilis – they already died, then me – Sister M. Emerita and the youngest of us Sister M. Hildegard. I remember how in my childhood I dreamt about religious life. Being asked at school to write who we would like to be in the future, I wrote ‘I want to be a nun.’ Unfortunately, three of my sisters forestalled me with choosing religious life and therefore I was even a bit angry with them and didn’t talk with them. Well, my time had come to go. I believe that our vocation for religious was in a way attained through my mum’s prayer. She herself was a member of the Third Secular Franciscan Order and she prayed a lot. She attended Mass every morning and she always went to church very early.
I entered the convent before the terrible Word War II, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, 1938. Short time later I came to Münster, there were 34 Sisters in the group. On May the 3rd, 1939 I was admitted to the Novitiate. My first profession and then the next two renewals of vows I made in Motherhouse in Münster. There, I passed also my nursing exam and worked with the sick. 28th October 1946 I professed my final vows in already post-war Poland. Oh, that time were many of us having the final vows – as many as five courses – because lots of things had to be postponed or withheld because of the war and the new ecclesial – canonical situation in Poland. After all, those final vows were really beautiful and ceremonial. So many young Sisters said their ‘yes’ to God in the Chapel of our Provincial House.
Since my childhood, my favorite motto has been ‘Ora et labora’. I worked in many different places, I met different people and my favorite means of locomotion was my bike. While being a district nurse I rushed to those who needed my help. Now I live in the Provincial House and I help where I can and I do all within my power. As my community is really important to me and God filled my heart with much joy and vitality, so I try to take active part in all meetings and events. I share some of my experiences and, sometimes cite something a suitable example, or recite a poem or tell a joke.
I love especially two Saints – St. Joseph and St. Francis. I thank God for all the graces and especially for the gift of my beautiful jubilee this year. Only four sisters on group of 34 could celebrate this year’s: three in Germany and I in Poland.
All my life I cure asking God for a good, holy death, so I may one day see His face and the faces of my own sisters, who have been members of our Congregation together with me.