Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today we remember Ignatius of Loyola, and I am sure he will get a lot of attention today. But have you ever heard of Blessed Cecilia Schelungova? I hadn't.

She was from Žilinský kraj, Slovakia. I kind of know where Solvakia is, but I don't recognize the town. Anyway, she felt a call to religious life at a very young age, and she asked to join the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Holy Cross when she was only 15. She made her first vows when she was 21. That was 1937, Cecilia was a young woman and she'd live to see the world change. The sisters made Cecilia a nun and a nurse. She was working in radiology at a hospital in Bratislava when the Communists came and began persecuting Christians. These Christians today who claim to be persecuted because someone doesn't agree with them is just nuts. This Communist persecution was real, and Cecillia helped people avoid persecution. She was able to help a priest escape, but she got caught trying to help some others.  her punishment was harsh: 12 years in prison and ten years of loss of civil rights. She didn't have to serve all her time, though. Her torture was so severe and frequent that the government let her go, fearing that she would die while in their care, custody, and control. In perhaps the cruelest twist, when she was released, death was near, but she was not accepted back into her convent because the nuns were afraid of police harassment. She died a few months later.

Persecution of Christians is real and it is severe. It is not happening in the USA, nor is it likely to... Huckabee notwithstanding. Elsewhere, though, people are being tortured and killed because they believe in Jesus. When we think we have something to complain about, we should remember Cecilia who really did suffer for acting on her faith.

I want to do God’s will without paying attention to myself, my comfort or my rest.
 – Sister Zdenka (Cecilia)

 “Blessed Cecilia Schelingová“. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 April 2015. Web. 30 July 2015. <>

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