Letter of Bishop Ignacy Łobos to an unknown Dominican sister in Wielowieś

April 1, 1887

Reverend Sister,

Out of ineffable sorrow – indeed difficult to withstand – as well as multiple duties, I did not hasten to reply to the letter informing me that the one of whom the world was not worthy had passed to a better life. Aside from you, her worthy daughters, and this Christian lady of advanced heart and reason [countess Tarnowska most likely], very few could see in Mother Columba a Bride of Christ, an angel in human frame, a being full of self-sacrifice and self-donation, a nun in love with the cross, a flower scenting in the garden of the Church, a star in the crown of St. Dominic, a dove perfectly simple, and a mother of great love for the Congregation.

Shielded by a special grace, she passed the journey of this life untouched by ugly tendencies of the world – most dangerous enemy of the servants of God: pure like a sunbeam constantly falling on the mud, she never succumbed to it herself. She experienced spiritual tortures through which the Divine Bridegroom melted her heart to indwell it as in a spotless tabernacle. He desired to make of her a manly woman only to exhibit His power in this frail petit lover of Him. He delighted when she was bringing you – one by one – to create a wreath of the elect, scenting with the beauty of virtues and vows. And at last He called: “Come, my Chosen One, my dear Dove, I will crown you.”

She left from here to join the wedding feast where she will rest after so many years of toil, tortures and fights, doubts and disappointments. She can now do more that in her earthly condition. Now, watch not so much over her saintly body, but rather her teachings, virtues, and admonitions. Protect her spirit of religious life, accuracy in keeping the rule, and this conscientiousness in daily duties. Observe the choir ceremonies. And most of all, whether in choir or outside of it, always act in simplicity one to another and towards other people as diligent students of Mother Columba and as brides of Christ.

In your appearance, may people see a lily; in your actions – a radiating star of kindness fueled by God’s grace. May they find in you love which the Holy Spirit reveals in every nun who is faithful to her lofty vocation. Gird your spirit and body with holy mortification. Have your torches of good internal and external deeds brightly lit. Walk the royal road in the footsteps of blessed Mother Columba. Head directly to the Feast of the Lamb where saint angels and patrons of the Order, particularly the patriarch Saint Dominic, led her.

May God of all consolation soothe your hearts!

Please, express regards to Reverend Countess Tarnowska.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Ignacy of Tarnów