Testimony of S. Imakulata Waligóra

Sr. Immaclata, O.P. was born in Stary Sącz on July 5, 1870. She writes her testimony at the age of 79.

I arrived to Wielowieś on August 2, 1886 to visit my childhood companion who had entered the Dominican Sisters. At first I was amazed that Most Reverend Mother Foundress deigned to come down and chat with me. Her whole appearance captivated me: height shorter than average, slim, her feeble stature appeared to flow rather than to walk. She treaded lightly, no steps were heard. Pronounced dark eyes, when she gazed, she spoke to my soul. Her comportment was remarkably cordial.

After a short exchange, she said to me with conviction: “My child, you will become a nun with us.” I replied: “All right” and I stayed. On account of the strength of her voice and her whole appearance, I tied myself to the Congregation of which she was the Foundress. Later, when my weakened health demanded exceptions, Mother Columba, being in need herself as she was consumed by tuberculosis fever, passed on to me a tiny glass of wine used to moisturize lips. I took for granted this gift of Mother, as something she owed to me. Today I comprehend it differently: it was a sacrifice, a great sacrifice of ailing Mother. This tiny glass of wine could have been for Mother a means to invigorate and strengthen her declining powers in the midst of so serious lungs disease.

I was accepted to probation by Archbishop Weber along with two other already deceased companions: Sr. Columba, O.P. and Sr. Aquinata, O.P. He was in Wielowieś at that moment. It was then when we, the young aspirants, sang with the novitiate the most favorite song of Mother Foundress „Quid retribuam Domino”. I remember father Weber sat on the bishop’s throne (we called the Archbishop “father”), and Mother Foundress sat below like a dove, immersed, listening to the chant.

Several months had passed since the reception. My health was failing. I felt that I was growing, yet pine away. I asked then Reverent Mother to let me visit my parents. Mother Foundress granted the permission, but when I mentioned that my parents would reimburse travel expenses, she grew sad and said: “I see, my Child, that you do not feel a member of the Congregation when you say that parents will pay for your travel. Prefer to let me, my Child, pay for your journey.” When sisters were doubting whether I would return to the convent, Reverent Mother replied:”She will be back and will last.” This is my 63rd year in the convent: I have already celebrated two jubilees.

On many occasions I witnessed that Reverent Mother whose months of life were already counted and, despite being weak herself, she hastened to every ill sister, even at night, with a word of comfort. Personally, I was also a recipient of so motherly a heart of our Mother. When I was sick, she would come quietly, lay her hand tenderly on my forehead, and ask what I needed.

Regarding admonitions, Mother’s attitude was firm. However, she reprimanded only in the case the offense against the Lord Jesus was at stake. Mother Foundress knew how to talk with us. In effect, we would leave from before her with a sense of sincere contrition.

Always united with God, she searched in her ministry solely for the glory of God. Sisters saw her frequently absorbed in prayer, kneeling in the chapel choir or at the feet of the altar. When she descended to the chapel, fearful, she would always take with her the youngest aspirant, later Sr. Stanislau Leniart, O.P. Mother then would put a small carpet under her feet, but personally she would kneel on the bare floor. When, weary with long waiting for Mother she felt asleep, without disrupting her sleep, Mother used to support her head and thrust herself even more into adoration of Jesus the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

I testify to these details in the presence of Fr. Kajetan Kosiatym, O.P. and Fr. Kajetan Gruszecki.

Sr. Immaculata Waligóra, O.P.