Another lay woman of note is BL. ANGELA SALAWA a Pole who served in hospitals in World War I. Born in the
of Siepraw near Kraków,
Poland in 1881 she was the eleventh
of twelve children. Her father
Bartłomiej was a blacksmith. Angela was baptized four
days after her birth.
Because she was weak and sickly, Angela was not as able help with chores as much as her more physically robust siblings. Yet she was an obedient child who tried to do her best to help her family.
At the age of 16, Angela left home to work as a maid in Kraków. While there, she became caught up in worldly pursuits and her religious fervor waned. She was much affected by the death of her sister Teresa, who had appealed to Angela to reconsider her worldly values.
While dancing at a wedding reception, Angela perceived Christ standing nearby, asking her how she could prefer dancing to following Him. The experience was a turning-point in her life. She immediately went to a church to pray and became devoted to adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Angela considered a religious vocation, but her weak physical health was an impediment. She decided to remain in the world, taking private vows of chastity and virtue in 1900. She continued to work as a maid, but suffered due to a breach between herself and her family.
In 1912, Angela became a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. She felt an affinity with St Francis of Assisi, who, like Angela herself, had broken with his family.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Angela remained in Kraków, nursing soldiers. Her own health was deteriorating, but no one noticed her suffering. In 1916 her employer accused her of stealing, and she lost her employment. She was homeless, in pain and ill, but she was discharged from the hospital because she appeared to be well. Eventually she was alone in the world, living in a basement room, abandoned by family, friends and neighbors. She died on 12 March 1922. She was only 42 years old.
The first miracle towards her canonization 1990 in Nowy Targ in
young boy who suffered a severe brain injury. The intercession of Angela Salawa
was asked to help the boy, and he made a full recovery. (St.) John Paul II
approved the miracle on 6 July 1991 and beatified her on 13 August 1991. Poland