Rome, Italy, Mar 7, 2013 / 16:12 pm
Blessed Maria Restituta, a Catholic nurse who was decapitated by the Nazis in March of 1943, was remembered for her courageous martyrdom during a recent Mass in Rome.
Cardinal Christoph Shonborn recalled the 70th anniversary of Blessed Maria's death during a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word on March 6.
The Mass was held at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew, which was dedicated by Pope John Paul II to the memory of the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. During the Mass, members of Blessed Maria's religious order, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, donated a small cross that she wore on her habit to the Basilica.
According to the March 5 edition of L'Osservatore Romano, Blessed Maria, whose baptismal name was Elena Kafka, was "a courageous and strong woman. As a nurse in a hospital in Austria, she opposed the anti-religious measures of the Nazis and defended the weak and the sick, speaking of peace and democracy."