Natalia Tułaszewicz (1906-1945) on the Feast Day of the 108 Blessed Polish Martyrs of World War II
A school teacher and a member of the underground resistance, Natalia Tułasiewicz was a passionate member of the Catholic lay apostolate of Poland during World War II. In 1943, she voluntarily signed up to be sent to the Third Reich as a forced laborer in order to give spiritual guidance and comfort to other female forced laborers.
In Hanover, Germany she worked at a factory that specialized in making artist paints and inks. Suffering from the constant hunger, cold and the exhaustion that was the fate of Polish forced laborer, she faithfully lead the laborers in prayer and song, provided religious instruction and held small retreats devoted to prayer and meditation. In 1944, when the Germans found out about her secret mission, she was arrested, interrogated, and tortured. In September of that year she was condemned to death and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, number 75188. In spite of being increasingly weak and suffering from tuberculosis, she continued her ministry among the women of Ravensbruck. She was sent to the gas chamber on Holy Saturday, March 31, 1945, thirty days before the liberation of Ravensbruck .
She expressed her beliefs in her spiritual diary, where she wrote: "My mission is to show the world that the path to holiness also travels through noisy markets and streets, not only in monasteries or in quiet families."
She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999. Her name is among the 108 Blessed Polish Martyrs of World War II, one of two lay women so recognized.
Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon her.
One of the biggest moments in my life was being able to sign for my very own library card. When I'm not reading, researching and writing I'm riding my bike, sewing or gardening. I love flea markets, folk art, and traveling to Poland.