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Sister Josaphata

On 6 April 1998 Pope John Paul II granted Ukrainian nun, Sister Josaphata Hordashevska, the title of "Venerable."

Born in 1869 in Lviv, Ukraine, Mykhailyna (Sister Josaphata) Hordashevska became the first member of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. On 6 April 1998 Pope John Paul II granted the Ukrainian nun the title of "Venerable." In June 2001, she will be beatified by the Pope in Lviv, Ukraine at a ceremony witnessed by hundreds of thousands.

At the age of 18, she decided to consecrate her life to God through the monastic life. During that time Latin-rite congregations predominated in Ukraine, whereas the contemplative Basilian Sisters were the only Eastern-rite women's congregation. Mykhailyna decided that the Basilians were the right congregation for her.

When Fr. Seletsky and Fr. Lomnytsky, OSBM, decided to establish a women's congregation that focused on the active life, Mykhailyna was elected to be the first leader. After they received her approval, the two priests sent her to the Felician sisters to give her the experience of active monastic life. Mykhailyna took the name Josaphata, in honor of the Ukrainian martyr Josaphat. Under her guiding hand, the order's first seven postulants began their formation in religious life in the spirit and charisma of the Sister Servants: "serve your people where the need is greatest". She initiated the educational and health care ministries and oversaw the opening of new missions.

Sister Josaphata endured much during her short life from misunderstanding, calumny and the ambition of others. On 7 April, 1919, at the age of 49, she died in excruciating pain from tuberculosis of the bone.

In November 1982 the mortal remains of Sister Josaphata were transferred to a small chapel in the Generalate of the Sisters Servants in Rome. Hundreds of visitors have sought her intercession for their temporal and spiritual needs. The Generalate has received numerous testimonials of special graces received through her intercession. The process of her beatification started in Rome in 1983.

For more information, see the Sisters Servants website.

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