The priest served the sisters while hiding in a separate location in an underground shelter. When he was arrested, the police found documents in the shelter relating to Sr. Wanda and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Angels. The NKVD arrested 20 of the sisters, including Boniszewska.
"From the beginning she was considered a charlatan, a false saint and an enemy of the system," Skubisz noted.
During interrogations, her captors beat her head against the wall, kicked her legs out from under her and forced her to stand all night answering questions.
The ill treatment took its toll: she was transferred to a hospital, but the questioning continued. When she felt better, she would be taken on a stretcher for further interrogation.
Finally, she was judged in absentia and sentenced to 10 years in a correctional camp as a Vatican spy and enemy of the system.
She was sent first to Chelyabinsk, in west-central Russia, then to Magnitogorsk, near the northern edge of the Russian steppe, and from there to the Urals. She spent much of her time in camp hospitals because of the injuries inflicted during interrogations and because of bleeding from her stigmata.
Skubisz said: "This aroused consternation among the doctors. Some refused treatment, others carried out experiments including electroshocks."
"The interrogations were brutal, with the beating of the head against the wall and kicks. Many times she was condemned to stay in a cell and locked up in the ward of the mentally ill."
When she went into ecstasies, Sr. Wanda would say the names of people she prayed for. They included Stalin, the NKVD official Viktor Abakumov and the notorious secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria.
"This became the reason for the great brutality of the interrogators, their anxiety and curiosity," Skubisz said.
She explained that Boniszewska inspired conversions among those who came into contact with her, including medical personnel and even her interrogators.
(Story continues below)
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Boniszewska traced her stigmata back to the day of her First Communion, Sept. 29, 1919, when she began to feel pain in her hands and legs. In 1927, she felt pain around her head, while the discomfort in her limbs diminished. Her suffering would peak during Masses.
According to her testimony, external marks of the stigmata appeared in Advent 1934 on her hands and legs. There was also a diagonal wound on her side. She attempted to hide them, but a priest noticed them while giving her the sacrament of the anointing of the sick in January 1935. In April of the same year, a religious sister who was also a nurse saw the wounds. But despite the nurse's questions, Sr. Wanda remained silent.
"Before she was arrested in 1950, the external stigmata began to disappear, and appeared sporadically in prison, less often after she was released and returned to Poland," said Skubisz.
Commentators have drawn parallels between Boniszewska and St. Faustina Kowalska. Both were Polish religious sisters who experienced the upheavals of the 20th century and left written records of their intense spiritual experiences. But Skubisz believes that, despite these surface similarities, the two are quite different.
She said: "Each of them had their own mission and unique relationship with the Lord. True, both were chosen and there are other similarities, but I do not think there are similarities between their diaries."
Skubisz pointed out that Sr. Wanda did not keep a spiritual diary as such. She wrote her memoirs retrospectively in obedience to a request from her superiors. While priests who came into contact with her made detailed records, she asked them to allow her to remain hidden and not to share the information until after her death.