Siedliska, Franciszka, Bl.

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Religious name: Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd; foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (Congregatio Sororum Sacrae Familiae de Nazareth [CSFN]); b. Roszkowa Wola, Poland, Nov. 12, 1842; d. Rome, Nov. 21, 1902, Rome. Frances Siedliska was born into a noble family; yet as a child she was gifted with a deep spiritual sensitivity that grew into an intense longing for God. She realized her call to religious life at age 12, but her father was deeply disappointed by her rejection of the family's wealth and social status. She struggled courageously with his disapproval and her own poor health before finally fulfilling her vocation to become a nun at age 30 (1872).

Siedliska's first spiritual advisor, Leander Lendzian, OFMCap, recognized the uniqueness of her vision and discerned that she was called to establish a new religious community. In 1875 she founded the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Rome. She discovered within the Holy Family the perfect model for loving surrender to God. Committed to extending the reign of God's love on earth through ministry to families, she and her sisters established 29 foundations across Europe and the United States before her death in 1902.

After authenticating a miracle attributed to her intercession, Pope John Paul II beatified Frances Siedliska on April 23, 1989.

Feast: Nov. 21.

Bibliography: f. siedliska, Autobiography (preface by m. t. jasionowicz, trans. m. p. krasowski) (Pittsburgh 1997). k. burton,

Where There is Love: The Life of Mother Mary Frances Siedliska of Jesus the Good Shepherd (New York 1951). m. michael gecewicz, Love Finds a Way: The Life of Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, illustrated by m. rita kobierowska (Philadelphia 1986). m. dechantal, Out of Nazareth: A Centenary of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Service of the Church, foreword by john cardinal krol (New York 1974). a. ricciardi, His Will Alone: The Life of Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, trans. r. n. barwig (Oshkosh, Wisc. 1970). m. i. strzalkowska, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd Frances Siedliska, trans. m. j. basiewicz, m. r. bradley et al. (Rome 1989). m. i. strzalkowska, For Me to Live is Christ, trans. m. p. krasowski, illustrated by g. de silva (Pittsburgh 1995).

[l. v. mikolajek]

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Siedliska, Franciszka, Bl.

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