The Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross
The order of the Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross was founded in 1918 in Laski Poland by Elizbieta Roza Czacka. This remarkable woman from an aristocratic family lost her sight at the age of 22. Elizbieta’s deep faith allowed her to accept her disability and turn it into a life-long vocation – namely to serve the blind. At that time the majority of blind people in her country lived in abject poverty and received neither care nor education. And so, between the two European World Wars, Mother Czacka started a modern centre where the blind could receive an education and vocational skills that would allow them to lead an independent life, earn their living and thereby regain their dignity.
Those who join the congregation of the Franciscan Sisters Servants of the Cross undergo an orientation into the world of the blind. This is followed by further workshops on mobility and orientation, braille, skills for daily living and pedagogy for the blind.
Today the order continues to serve thousands of visually impaired people all over the world. There are in five places in Poland, two in Ukraine, three in India, one in Ruanda and one in South Africa. The sisters of the Franciscan Servants of the Cross see their mission to help the blind carry their cross of blindness with acceptance and harmony. In this way the physically blind can be witnesses of God’s love amongst the spiritually blind.
Daily Offering of the Sisters of the Cross
My God, I offer to You my daily cross out of love for You,
United with the Passion of Jesus Christ,
For Your greater praise and glory,
For the intention of the Holy Father,
The Church and my country,
And expiate my own sins, the sins of the whole world,
And especially the spiritual blindness of people.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.