She recovered by the spring of 1943 and began working in the camp hospital as a nurse, using her proficiency in German to help her patients.
“Risking her own life, she baptized newborns and ministered to people who were seriously ill,” Jeż noted in the edict. “She also watched over the dying, sweetening their last hours of life.”
“She encouraged other female prisoners to pray together with the dying. Risking her own life, she also saved sick women during selection for the gas chamber or phenol injection by crossing them off the death list. Her fellow prisoners called her the ‘earthly guardian angel.’”
She wrote a camp prayer book that survived the Second World War intact.
Łącka left Auschwitz with five companions on Jan. 23, 1945, days after the camp was bombed. She returned to her family home in Wola Żelichowska, where she attended daily Mass and helped her family.
She began studying Polish philology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, but her health deteriorated and she was admitted to a hospital in the city in October 1946.
She died on Nov. 7, 1946, at the age of 33.
In his edict, Bishop Jeż said that Lącka’s spirituality offered an example for Christians today.
“Stefania Lacka was distinguished for her high degree of the virtues of faith, hope, love, and moral virtues,” he wrote. “From the day of her funeral until now, her private cult has been growing.”
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