Litany in honor of a Servant of God Mother Kazimiera Gruszczyńska
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, Heavenly Father, have mercy on us.
God Son, Savior of the World, have mercy on us.
God, Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
-Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
-Saint Joseph, pray for us.
-Saint Casimir, pray for us.
-Servant of God, Mother Kazimiera Gruszczyńska, through your life you let people see that God was the father of us all. Help us
-Servant of God, Mother Kazimiera Gruszczyńska, who loved Mother Mary with heart and soul, help us.
-Loyal daughter of Father Honored, help us.
From your childhood serving Christ by taking your vow of chastity, help us.
-joyful meditating the secrets of the Holy Rosary, help us.
-Lady of numerous Evangelical blessings, help us.
-following in the footsteps of Christ in poverty and humility, help us.
-Good Samaritan, helping the suffering, help us.
-hardworking sister, help us.
-epitome for other sisters, help us.
-Educator of the many generations of young people, help us.
-founder of many orders, serving the sick and suffering, help us.
-conscientious fulfilling her duties, help us.
-always overcoming her faults, help us
-obeying the Church hierarchy, help us.
-Accepting God’s Will with a joyful face, help us.
-comforter of the sick, sad and mentally broken people, help us.
-patiently enduring every sorrow and illness, help us.
-epitome of boundless confidence in the Divine Providence, help us.
-A strong desire to fulfill the Will of God in even the smallest actions, help us.
-loving the cross, help us.
-guarding the holiness and salvation of herself and her neighbor, help us
-faithful to her vocation until the end, help us.
-intercessor for us with Jesus and Mary, help us.
Let us pray:
God, good Father, we thank you for the vocation of Kazimiera Gruszczyńska.
She has with great wisdom completed what you asked of her and now goes on to become Head of a new Order.
She stood in presence of the Holy Spirit and in the footsteps of Christ brought help comfort and Christ’s light to the sick, suffering and the needy.
Respectfully I ask of you Holy Trinity, one God, to grant me the following grace by the intercession of Kazimiera Gruszczyńska.
And we ask you to let her be seen raised on our Altar’s soon
We ask You this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Servant of God Kazimiera Gruszczyńska (1848-1927) the founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Suffering Congregation
Kazimiera Gruszczyńska was born on December 31st 1848 in Kozienice in a family of noble roots (coat of arms Poraj-Róża). She was raised in an atmosphere full of love, religious and patriotic devotion. She received her initial schooling at home. She then attended an elementary school, and the Maryjski Institute in Puławy from which she was expelled three years later for participating in public patriotic manifestations. Next, she attended a girls' boarding school in Skierniewice. After graduation she returned to her hometown Kozienice. She wanted to set up a girls' school of her own. Although she had a teaching certificate, she did not receive permission to run such a school. The local authorities refused on the grounds of the records of her patriotic attitude manifested in Puławy. As she could not teach, she got involved in helping the sick and the elderly in her hometown. She would teach the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church to children. From her early childhood Kazimiera wanted to devote her life to God. Initially, she attempted to join the Sisters of Charity but she gave this idea up. In 1875 she took part in a spiritual retreat under the guidance of Father Honorat Koźminski and joined the Congregation of the Messenger Sisters of the Heart of Jesus. She took her monastic vows in June 1879.
In 1882 Father Honorat commissioned her to run an almshouse in Warsaw called “the Shelter” (“Przytulisko”). She was also told to set up a new congregation whose members wore lay clothes.
Consequently, the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Suffering was established to care for the sick, the poor and those in need. Kazimiera Gruszczyńska built numerous almshouses caring for the sick and the sufferers. In particular, many of the almshouses in Warsaw providing accommodation for the homeless were set up thanks to her commitment. She also contributed greatly to setting up orphanages, almshouses for poor mothers and terminally ill patients. Everywhere they worked the Franciscan Sisters of the Suffering were deeply committed to caring for their patients.
Thanks to her efforts the so called “Sanatorium of St Joseph” was built in 1910. The hospital was to serve also as a nursing training college for the sisters. At the end of Mother Superior’s life the sisters were engaged in their activities, among others, in Warsaw, Kozienice, Łódź, Vilnius and Grzybowszczyzna.
Owing to the considerable efforts of Mother Kazimiera Gruszczyńska the church of St. Joseph in Kozienice and the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Warsaw were built. In recognition for her contribution to the Church and society, she was awarded with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal by the Pope Pius XI. She was also decorated with a medal of merit Misercordia by the Russian authorities in 1915 for her care of the wounded soldiers during World War I.
She died in Kozienice on the Day of St. Francis’s Stigmata on September 17th 1927. Her body was transported with honours to Warsaw and placed in the section at the Powązki Cementary belonging to the Franciscan Sisters of the Suffering. Her heart, however, remained in her hometown Kozienice.
Mother Kazimiera was widely known and appreciated for her virtues of the mind and spirit in her community, especially in Warsaw and Kozienice. Many people thought of her as a saint. During her funeral many speeches were given, presenting her as a deeply devout person, committed to God, the Church, her country and her people. Bishops, priests and laymen took part in the ceremony. With time the opinion of her sainthood spread even wider and is vivid till today, with the commencement of her beatification process. A solemn session inaugurating the process took place on 6th April 2013 in the parish church of Saint Cross in Kozienice.
After the death of the founder, the Franciscan sisters secured all the souvenirs that were left. One can find among others clothes, everyday objects, a letter seal, prayer books, a rosary, laces, reliquaries, memorial crosses and pictures. Her writings such as the History of the Congregation, personal and official correspondence, notes, and drafts were also stored. Kazimiera Gruszczyńska’s writings can be found in the Archives of the Congregation in the General Home in Warsaw. All the souvenirs have been assembled in the Memorial Exhibition Room in the house for the sisters which Mother Kazimiera had built on her family lot in Kozienice.
All those who would like to explore this part of Kozienice region history reflected in the person of the Servant of God Kazimiera Gruszczyńska are welcome to visit the house of the Franciscan Sisters of the Suffering at Maja 37 street in Kozienice. There you will find her Memorial Exhibition Room.