Pope approves heroic virtues of Sister Maria Leonia Nastal

Pope approves heroic virtues of Sister Maria Leonia Nastal

Almost 40 years to the day since her cause was opened, Pope Francis on Dec. 2 approved the decree for the cause of canonization for Sister Maria Leonia Nastal of the Congregation of the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, noting her “heroic virtue.”

The order’s U.S. provincialate is located in the Diocese of Camden, in Cherry Hill (www.LSIC.US). Worldwide, the order is engaged in works of mercy.

Born on Nov. 8, 1903 in the village of Stara Wies, district Brzozow in southeastern Poland, Maria Nastal was devoted to prayer from an early age, even creating a prayer chapel in the attic of the home she shared with her family. At the age of 22, she entered the Little Servant Sisters order in her home village and took the name Leonia.

Her ministry was marked by her faith-guided actions toward others, and her fervor in prayer. After an extended bout with tuberculosis she died in 1940 at the General House in Stara Wies.

Calling Pope Francis’ decree, “a great gift for our Congregation,” the superior general, Mother Beata Chwistek, said, “Sister Leonia Maria Nastal fully implements the testament of our father founder, Blessed Edmund Bojanowski, who encouraged us to practice humility, love and simplicity, with the intention that we take care of children. From Christ, she heard in spirit: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’ And she replied, ‘I believe in God’s eternal love.’ At the present time, when so much is said about the life of the unborn, we pray for the mothers awaiting birth. Sister Leonia has obtained so many graces for married couples, waiting sometimes many years for their child. She has entreated for many of these tiny ones. …

“The church needs youth generous as Sister Leonia, who are ready to leave everything, to choose the radical following of Christ, chaste, poor and obedient. Pray that Sister Leonia supports our noble desires and aspirations and also pray for the grace to hasten the day of her beatification.”

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