Venerable Mother Kolumba Białecka (1838-1887)
In 2004, Pope St. John Paul II approved the promulgation of the heroic virtues of our very own foundress, Servant of God Mother Kolumba Białecka. Her small stature did not stifle her magnanimous spirit. She influenced lives by the purity of her heart and by the selfless dedication in which she served her neighbor. She became foundress of the Dominican Sisters at the tender age of 21 with the promptings and guidance of the Master General of the Dominican Order, Fr. Alexandre Vincent Jandel.
Mother Kolumba pioneered scriptural and sacramental catechesis, a task reserved for the clergy alone during her time. She also had great love for the poor. In the beginning stages of the Congregation, she set her attention on the villages where she sought to catechize and school the young children. The families oftentimes were not in approval of letting their children go to school because that meant less hands for labor in the farm, so Mother Kolumba would send her Sisters to work in the farm while the children received catechesis and other instructions.
The driving force of Mother Kolumba’s zeal can be traced from one source: the Eucharist. She poured out all her struggles to Jesus hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, and she garnered all the strength she needed from her Hidden Spouse on the altar. She further urged her sisters to “live for Jesus the host”. Mother Kolumba also had great devotion to Jesus’ Mother. When she was much younger, she was part of the “Association of Mary’s Children” and the “Rosary Confraternity”. As she lay dying of tuberculosis at the age of 49, she was remembered to say, “Oh, I did not know I love the Mother of God so much! …I love Her so much!”
Mother Kolumba Białecka, pray for us.