Róża Filipina Białecka was born August 23, 1838 in Yasnyshche, what is now in Ukraine. She was the second of three daughters of Francis and Ernestine Bialecki. Very early on, she learned the art of prayer and cherished beyond measure time spent with the Eucharistic Jesus. She received her First Communion when she was eight years old. Convinced she was called to religious life the day of her Confirmation, she made a private vow in Pidkamin, also in modern Ukraine. It was before a Miraculous Image of Our Lady that she dedicated herself completely to God. The fulfillment of this vow was not easy. Obstacles came in the form of serious illness and her father’s refusal.

Eventually, on July 2, 1856, after an historic exchange with the Master General of the Order of Preachers, Father Vincent Jandel, OP, she decided to enter a convent of the contemplative-active Sisters of Saint Dominic in Nancy, France. The goal was to establish a similar Dominican foundation in Poland. Her formation in the novitiate began with the vestition ceremony; that is, the reception of the Dominican habit and a religious name. From that point on, Rose Bialecka became Sister Maria Kolumba (Columba). Her brief formation in France concluded with the profession of the religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Thus equipped, she returned to Poland to meet the challenges of a new foundation. Its first convent was located in the village of Wielowieś near Sandomir, Poland.

The goal of the new congregation was to preach the Gospel Truth to those most in need through pastoral ministry and education. As the community expanded, sisters continued to open new schools and watch over the religious and moral formation of children and youths. Moreover, sisters took care of the elderly, supporting them in their suffering and accompanying them in their homes at the hour of death. All who came in contact with Mother Columba easily recognized her great love for God and neighbor, her amazing humility, kindness, cordiality, and generosity. Under the spell of her holiness, people began calling her an angel.

Mother Columba passed away on March 18, 1887, on the vigil of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, for whom she had great devotion. She was buried in the Wielowieś garden behind the convent chapel.