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Saint of the Day

Blessed Mary Restituta Kafka

March 30
Sixth daughter of a shoemaker. Grew up in Vienna, Austria. Worked as a sales clerk. Nurse. Joined the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity (Hartmannschwestern) in 1914, taking the name Restituta after an early Church martyr. Worked for twenty years as a surgical nurse, beginning in 1919. Known as a protector of the poor and oppressed. Vocal opponent of the Nazis after Anschluss, the German take over of Austria. Sister Restituta hung a crucifix in every room of a new hospital wing. The Nazis ordered them removed; Restituta refused. She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942. Sentenced to death on 28 October 1942 for "aiding and abetting the enemy in the betrayal of the fatherland and for plotting high treason"; Martin Bormann decided that her execution would provide "effective intimidation" for other opponents of the Nazis. She spent her remaining time in prison caring for other prisoners; even the Communist prisoners spoke well of her. She was offered her freedom if she would abandon her religious community; she declined. Martyr. (beheaded on 30 March 1943 at Vienna, Austria).

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