One tough Sister.
Bl. Maria Restituta Kafka (1894-1943)
Feast: March 30
Beatified: June 21, 1998
We know the Nazis’ wickedness cowed many into silence, but not everyone. Take, for instance, Bl. Maria Restituta.
Born Helen Kafka, she was from a family of Czech extraction, and she grew up in Vienna. After leaving school at 15, Helen tried her hand at various jobs before settling on a nursing career with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
After several months, Helen asked her parents to join the order. When they refused, she ran away from home. Ultimately, her parents relented, and so the congregation accepted her. Helen took the name Restituta after an early martyr who had been beheaded and made her final vows at age 23 in 1918. (One source says that one of the meanings of “Restituta” is “obese.” Given her keen sense of humor, maybe she also chose the name as a…
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