The feast day of Bl. Maria Restituta is celebrated on October 29. She was martyred by the Nazis when she refused to remove crucifixes from the hospital walls.
Helen Kafka was born in Vienna, Austria in 1894. Her father was a shoemaker. Helen’s first job was that of a salesgirl. She then became an assistant caregiver at the Lainz public hospital. It was at the hospital that she met the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. She joined the Order at the age of 20. She took the name Restituta who was a marty in the 4th century.
Sister Restituta became a surgical nurse in 1919 working at the Moulding hospital. After the Nazi invasion of the country she became an opponent of the Nazis. When they ordered her to remove all the crucifixes on the walls of the hospital, she refused. The Nazis then arrested her and charged her for “aiding and abetting the enemy in the betrayal of the fatherland and for plotting high treason”.
The last days Sister Restituta spent in prison were spent caring for other prisoners. Even the communist prisoners spoke highly of her. She was offered freedom if she left her religious order but she refused.
Bl. Maria was beheaded at the age of 48 on March 30, 1943 in Vienna. Pope John Paul II beatified her on June 21, 1998.
“I have lived for Christ.
I want to die for Christ.”
Last words of Bl. Maria Restituta