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Maria Restituta

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Blessed Maria Restituta
Born 1 May, 1894, Husovice near Brno, Austria-Hungary
Died 30 March, 1943, Vienna
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 21 June, 1998 by John Paul II
Feast 29 October

Sister Maria Restituta (1 May 1894 in Husovice near Brno, Austria-Hungary (now in the Czech Republic) – 30 March 1943 in Vienna) was a nun and a nurse. Her secular name was Helene Kafka (or Kafková). She was a shoemaker's daughter.

When she was two years old, she came with her family to Vienna, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire's capital, and home to a Czech migrant community, among whom she grew up. She first worked as an assistant caregiver at the Lainz public hospital. At 19, she joined the "Hartmann Sisters". It was at this time that she adopted the name Maria Restituta, naming herself after Restituta, a 4th century Christian martyr. After the First World War, she began working as a nurse at the Mödling hospital, eventually becoming the leading surgical nurse.

Even the Mödling hospital was not spared the effects of Anschluss in 1938. Sister Restituta, however, insisted on refusing to take down crucifixes, which she herself had hung up in a new wing that had been built onto the hospital. This little act of defiance, though, and two of her writings that were critical of the régime would lead to her doom. She was denounced by a doctor who fanatically supported the Nazis, and she was arrested on Ash Wednesday 1942 by the Gestapo right after coming out of the operating theatre. On 29 October 1942 she was sentenced to death by the guillotine by the Volksgerichtshof for "favouring the enemy and conspiracy to commit high treason". She was beheaded on 30 March 1943.


On 21 June 1998, on the occasion of Pope John Paul II's visit to Vienna, Sister Maria Restituta was beatified.

In her honour, the western half of Weyprechtgasse, a lane running before Mödling hospital, has been named Schwester Maria Restituta-Gasse.

External links

ru:Мария Реститута sv:Maria Restituta

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