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Blessed Zofia Czeska-Maciejowska (1584-1650)

She tasted marriage, but experienced the bitterness of childlessness. She was a widow, but she did not live alone. Despite the obstacles and difficult circumstances of history, she created a work that has lasted four centuries and still continues to expand. The problem of childless loneliness concerns many women today. From her, they can learn creative fulfillment of life.

She came from a middle-class Małopolska nobility. At 16 years old, she was married to Jan Czeski. After six years of marriage, Zofia was a childless widow. The times in which she lived were marked by wars, epidemics, natural disasters, and famine. Their victims were small and deprived orphans. Zofia Czeska decided to care for orphaned and poor girls. She opened her home at ul. Szpitalna in Krakow to them, where she organized a boarding school and called it the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Home for Girls. It was the first school in Poland for girls because only boys attended school in those days.

Anxious to ensure the permanence of her work, Zofia founded the religious congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, called Presentation Sisters, from the Latin word praesentatio – presentation.

Zofia Czech died at the age of 66. She was put to rest in St. Mary's Church in Krakow, where her mortal remains remain today. Her skull is stored in a side chapel in St. John’s Church in Krakow.

The work of Mother Zofia Czeska endures. The Presentation Sisters run middle schools, high schools, and dormitories in Krakow and Rzeszow, as well as kindergartens and an orphanage. They are also involved with children with special needs.

Zofia managed to cope with a difficult life situation and implement an innovative work. She moved forward with strength and conviction that what she is doing is good. Aside from her masculine determination, she was sincere, warm, and open. Her sacrifice is a challenge for us because today’s world teaches us to focus on our own desires, whereas she teaches giving, caring, and respect for others.


The places associated with Blessed Zofia Czeska-Maciejowska (1584-1650):

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