Suore di Santa Elisabetta


of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth

was conceived on the initiative of Klara Dorota Wolff, who was soon joined by Matylda Merkert and her sister Luiza Maria Merkert and Franciszka Werner.

Their main endeavour was to selflessly serve those most in need, especially the suffering and sick, in their own homes regardless of age, condition, background or religion.
They chose September 27, 1842, the feast of the holy doctor martyrs, Cosmas and Damian, as the day they began their work.
They recite the act of consecration to the Heart of Jesus in front of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is henceforth the historical memorial of the Congregation.
Despite various difficulties, on June 7, 1871, the Congregation received a commendatory decree from Pope Pius IX and the approval of the Holy See was granted by Pope Leo XIII on January 26, 1887.
Between 1863 and 1865, through the efforts of Mother Mary, the Congregation’s Motherhouse was built in Nysa.

The sisters courageously pursued the aims and intentions of shaping and strengthening the structures of the young monastic community.

The Congregation grew rapidly and expanded its activities in Silesia, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Norway.
Like a butterfly, the young community spread its wings to reach out to those who needed sacrificial help.
Influenced by the example of St. Elizabeth and the Founding Mothers, the sisters serve the poor, the sick, the elderly and the lonely in their own homes as well as in hospitals. They care for handicapped and developmentally delayed children in care homes and institutions; they provide general and religious education for children and young people in kindergartens and schools. By bringing aid wherever it is needed, they respond to the current needs of the world.
In 1985, the Congregation began efforts to initiate the process for the beatification of its Co-Foundress and first Superior General, Mother Maria Merkert.

Maria Luisa Merket, originally from Nysa, devoted her entire life to the sick and the poor, in whom she saw “the suffering parts of Christ”, earning her the nickname “Silesian Samaritan”.

Finally, the work was concluded with the issuing of the Decree of the Holy Father Benedict XVI on June 1, 2007, recognising the miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Maria Merkert.

The beatification, eagerly awaited by many generations of sisters, became a fact.

The beatification ceremony took place on September 30, 2007, in Nysa, the city that witnessed Maria Merkert’s sainted life, devoted entirely to God and other human beings.
At present, the sisters serve in 19 countries: Poland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Bolivia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Israel, Palestine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Paraguay, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Tanzania.