Testimony of Countess Gabriela Tarnowska
(age 85)

I remember Mother Foundress visiting my parents’ residence in Chorzelowa. She used to ascend this 70-kilometer-long poor road from the railway station. What joy there was upon the arrival of this Dear Mother!

I recall her petite, almost filigree, silhouette with beautiful ascetic face, eyes – as far as I call to mind – blue, with angelic expression of holiness and unequivocal goodness. With it, she was winning over everybody around!

It is inconceivable how this frail body could assemble so much energy, creativity, and self-denial to bring into existence this grand work. It spreads today even to the other hemisphere built solely on the foundation of her ardent love for God with which she burned, zeal for His glory, and desire to serve solely Him! Evidently, it was God Himself who conducted this work!

Although Wielowieś was over 6 miles away from Chorzelowa, we always treated Mother Columba and other Dominican Sisters as our special nuns.

While my mother and children stayed in Dzików, I remember how Mother Foundress was showing her, our aunt and uncle from Dzików, and the young ones the progress in finishings and decorations of the chapel. I was too young to understand the significance of Mother Columba’s influence over the nearby villagers. But as far as I can grasp, she and her entire Congregation awoke highest esteem, respect, and loyalty. Sisters were very much involved in various works. They were directed by the spirit and hand of their most venerable Foundress.

The spirit also sustained her body amidst an abundance of work, yet insufficient strength and frail health. She never husbanded them during her journeys either when founding new mission houses or on trips to Rome where she strived to receive the Holy Father’s approval for the Rule of the Dominican Sisters. Aunt Zofia Zamoyska, daughter-in-law of Gabiela, and uncle John were in a constant relation with Mother Columba and simultaneously with Bp Łobos, the then Ordinary of Tarnów. The latter requested my aunt to collect all and any letters and notes from Mother Columba as they would be needed for canonization. I suspect they perished in the fire of our palace in Dzików.

Unfortunately, in human estimates her days came to an end way too hastily … The lungs illness pervaded this delicate woman and the Lord whom she came to love so totally embraced her for eternity. While leaving this world, she did not forget those whom she showered with graces already in life. She offered to us souvenirs. I own two which she dedicated to my sister: a figure of St. Anthony and an image of Jesus the Lord in the crown of thorns. I consider both great relics very dear to my heart. I also own a photograph of Mother Foundress, a bit worn out, but reflecting her angelic nature. Unfortunately, at present I am unable to get to them. When Mother ended her life, the Dominican Sisters desired to lay her body in the garden closest to the chapel and the Lord Jesus. Together with my aunt they requested permission of with Bp Łobos. And it was granted. Till today her dear remains rest there near the chapel which she brought into existence out of passionate love.