Holy Death

One dares to say that the moment of death ultimately sums up one’s life as a whole. Sisters, very attached to their Foundress, did not want to miss it out of love for her. They also intuitively foresaw unusual manifestations of God’s favor in that terminal situation. No surprise then that they vigilled at the Foundress’ deathbed throughout last months of her life. Cherishing every moment, they left us with quite extensive descriptions. Among them we find a greatly detailed account of March 18, 1887, that is, Mother Columba’s death:

Before the end of her life, the fight gave way to a serene slumber of the blessed. There was no sign of slightest anguish. Instead, astounding heavenly peace brightened her colorless countenance exhausted with immense torture. All-loving God removed the pains of agony even in the body as if partially rewarding already here on earth our Mother for her dauntless carrying of so many physical and moral crosses.(Chronicles of Wielowieś)

The conviction that they witnessed death of a saint was unquestionable. Amidst inability to eat, periodic suffocation, physical pain, and spiritual torment that she, a tuberculosis patient, experienced, the very last moments of Mother’s earthly life were in a sharp contrast. The grace of peace and heavenly tranquility bestowed on her in the very last moments of her life were unequivocally identified as a saintly death. This is how Chronicles depict the very moment of death:

At about nine thirty our Dearest Mother once more breathed gently and surrendered her beautiful soul into the hands of the All-Merciful Father! So peacefully, so serenely! There was silence also around her. Tears flowed down in the midst of prayers, but feeling that it was the death of a Saint, no sister disrupted this sleep of our Dearest Mother even with a slightest sigh.