In nineteenth-century Poland, Sophia Truszkowska, who founded the Felician Sisters and became Blessed Mother Mary Angela, walked with courage and faith, bestowing a legacy of innate graciousness, humble strength, and boundless compassion that spanned class distinctions, rigid systems, and time itself. At her beatification, Pope John Paul II, now Saint John Paul II, said, “Blessed Mary Angela’s life was marked with love. She was concerned about all people: those hungry for bread, the heartbroken, the homeless, and those hungering for the truth of the Gospel.”
An officially canonized Catholic saint is a person in heaven who lived a heroically virtuous life, offered their life for others, or was martyred for the faith. Catholics may publicly venerate their saints, celebrating feast days for them and praying to them for intercession. Beatification is the first step on the path to official sainthood, giving a person the title “Blessed.”
To be recognized as blessed requires that a miracle has taken place through the intercession of that person. The miracle is usually a healing. The healing has to be instantaneous, permanent, and complete — while also being scientifically unexplainable. Once verified by a group of independent doctors, then approved by a panel of theologians, the final approval lies with the pope.
One miracle, researched and certified by the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, has already been attributed to Mother Angela and led to her beatification. Lillian Halasinski, who suffered from the excruciating pain of incurable diabetic neuropathy, prayed to Mother Angela every day for relief. On January 4, 1984, as Lillian prayed to Mother Angela, her pain disappeared, and she was instantaneously cured of the disease.
As part of the beatification process, when Sophia’s remains were exhumed, the doctors examining the bones recognized that her skeleton belonged to someone who knelt much, walked a lot, and worked with her hands. Her knee caps were extremely calcified from all her kneeling during prayer and meditation periods.
Thirty years ago, on April 18, 1993, Pope Saint John Paul II beatified Mother Mary Angela at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. For canonization, another miracle must be attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mary Angela.
The Felician Sisters give thanks for the example of Blessed Mary Angela and ask for her assistance as they continue her mission. Felician Sisters actively promote this cause for the canonization of Blessed Mary Angela by:
- making her better known around the world through the distribution of publications, newsletters, medals, and holy cards,
- spreading devotion to her during prayer gatherings and group meetings,
- writing and sharing prayers and spiritual communications,
- seeking out and investigating alleged miraculous cures attributed to her.