MOTHER HEDWIG BORZĘCKA
The Co-foundress of the Congregation, Mother Hedwig Borzęcka was born on February 1, 1863 on the Obrembszczyzna property near Grodno (present Belarus). She was the younger of the two living daughters of Celine and Joseph Borzęcki (two younger children died in infancy). Poland at that time found itself under partitions. In this difficult time the Church and manors of the nobility were an important support for the faith, tradition and the Polish character. It was in such a climate that the Borzęckis brought up their daughters: Celia and Hedy. Their patriotic involvement can be seen from the fact that the lady of the house was arrested with little Hedwig for helping the January insurrectionists and only because of the intervention of the husband were they freed.
In 1869 the happy childhood of Celia and Hedy was interrupted by the illness of the father. Desiring to save her paralyzed husband, Celine together with him and her daughters moved to Vienna. In spite of the expert and careful care, Joseph died on February 13, 1874. Celine buried her husband in the sepulchral chapel in Obrembszczyzna, and after putting her financial matters in order she journeyed with her daughters to Italy.
In October 1875 the Borzęckies reached Rome. Here they became acquainted with Fr. Peter Semenenko, the co-founder and superior general of the Congregation of the Resurrection, who became their spiritual director.
Under the care of Fr. Peter, Hedwig prepared for her First Holy Communion which she received on April 20, 1876 in Rome in the chapel of the Reparatrix Sisters. She was confirmed by Card. Mieczysław Ledóchowski.
Hedwig’s older sister Celia in 1870 married Joseph Haller. Hedwig was not thinking of marriage but she was searching for the way of her vocation, imbibing Resurrection spirituality, that Fr. Semenenko was teaching the mother and daughter.
On March 25, 1881, after a retreat under the direction of Fr. Peter, Hedwig pronounced her “Fiat” deciding to stand by her mother to help her in the work of founding the congregation.
After nine years of preparation on January 6, 1891 in Rome, Hedwig together with her mother professed their perpetual vows giving the beginning to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Congregation that was being founded, Hedwig tried to be a support for her mother to whom she was united by a double knot: natural and spiritual. When they had to part, leaving for business in the homes being formed, they wrote to each other often, sharing their concerns and giving each other counsel and strength. Both zealously worked on the formation of the first members who would eventually replace them. Hedwig together with her mother founded the first convent on Polish soil, in Kęty; she was the superior and directress of the first school in Rome; she accompanied her mother during her visits to ecclesiastical hierarchy and to visitations of the first local communities. One of the more difficult missions for Hedwig was her departure in 1894 to solicit funds in France and Spain, to collect funds for the building of the convent in Kęty and for other needs of the religious family that was being founded.
Hedwig was the hope of her mother who wanted to transfer the steering of the Congregation into the hands of the young, capable, and above all, knowing well and loving the paschal spirituality of the daughter. But things happened differently. God called Hedwig to himself at the age of 43. The end of her earthly pilgrimage came suddenly on September 27, 1906 in Kęty. She was buried in the cemetery in Kęty. On November 22, 1937 her remains (together with the coffin of her mother who died in 1913) were transferred to the crypt under the Kęty chapel of the sisters’ convent, and on April 3. 2001 to the common tomb in the parish church of SS. Margaret and Catherine in Kęty
A Short History of the Process of Beatification
The process of beatification of Mother Hedwig was begun on March 9, 1950 in Rome. On April 10, 1964, by the decision of our Holy Father Paul VI, the decree issued permitted the beginning of the apostolic process of both Mothers. On August 16, 1965 in Kęty the act of “recognitio”, i.e. the recognition of the remains of both Mothers, Servants of God, took place. On February 17 the apostolic process of Mother Hedwig was closed in the Apostolic Palace at the Lateran. Cardinal Karol Wojtyła from Kraków took part in this event. On December 17, 1982 our Holy Father John Paul II signed the decree of the heroic virtue of Mother Hedwig.
To be raised to the altars, Mother Hedwig needs a miracle to be granted by God through her intercession; We encourage all to prayer through the intercession of the Servant of God Mother Hedwig.
PRAYER FOR GRACES THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE
VENERABLE SERVANT OF GOD
MOTHER HEDWIG BORZECKA
O Crucified and Risen
You assured us: “Ask and you shall receive”,
I beg You with unwavering trust to grant me the grace (…)
through the intercession of your Servant Hedwig,
who following You faithfully,
carried her daily cross and who in a special way loved the Mystery of your Resurrection.
Grant, Lord, that the Church may rejoice in raising to the altar your Servant Hedwig,
showing in her the model of a life according to the paschal mystery.