“I am nothing but God directs everything. I only fulfill what God demands of me. I attest to the fact that everything. I do is for the glory of God”.
– Bl. Edmund
The life of
Blessed Edmund Bojanowski
Edmund Bojanowski was born the son of devout and patriotic landed gentry on November 14, 1814, in Poland. Despite having received treatment as a child, he continued to suffer from frail health throughout his lifetime. Edmund Bojanowski was multi-talented. As a young adult, he dreamed of becoming a writer, yet unfortunately, his studies were interrupted when he fell ill with tuberculosis. Bojanowski happened to live during extremely turbulent times for Poland. At the time, the country was partitioned between Russia, Prussia, and Austria, where each country was persistently trying to eradicate the Polish culture from the people. The political uprisings and the cholera epidemic left children orphaned, sick, and neglected.
Reading the signs of the times, Blessed Edmund sought solutions on how to alleviate the suffering of the people, hence he actively engaged in various voluntary work, and despite the inevitable difficulties he had to face, he continued to give to the community. During his life he:
- worked to provide food for the hungry,
- opened libraries and supplied books to combat illiteracy,
- started a hospital to care for the sick,
- opened a home to care for orphans,
- established nursery schools for neglected children.
To ensure future care for the children, the sick, and the needy, he founded a congregation of sisters entrusted to the patronage of the Immaculate Conception. The constitution of this new congregation contained the very rule for the time that the sisters were to work to support themselves financially.
Since he dedicated his life to the service of abandoned children, the sick, and the needy, his friends called him the second St. Vincent de Paul.
On August 7, 1871, he passed away. Being a devout and prayerful person, he achieved sanctity during his lifetime and was beatified in Warsaw, Poland, on June 13, 1999.
The saintly lives of Blessed Sister Celestyna Faron and Servant of God Sister Leonia Nastal, both members of the Little Servants order, are a meaningful testimony to the spiritual vitality of the congregation.
Excerpt from the Homily of Pope John Paul II – Beatification, June 13, 1999, Warsaw, Poland
Address of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Audience, 10 June 2000, Rome