#7 Blessed Sára Salkaházi: writer, sister, human rights activist, martyr

Blessed Sára Salkaházi
(Kassa, 11 May 1899 – Budapest, 27 December 1944)
writer, sister, human rights activist, martyr

3 x 3 about Sára Salkaházi:

3 serious facts:

  1. She got acquainted with the Sisters of Social Service in 1927, (founded by Margit Slachta in 1912), where she later became a religious sister. From 1941 onwards she was the leader of the Hungarian Catholic Working Women’s Movement.
  2. During the final months of World War 2 about 1.000 jews found shelter in the buildings belonging to the Sisters of Social Service. About 100 were rescued by Sara herself. During a raid she was captured along with 5 others for hiding jews. They were lined up on the bank of the Danube River on 27 December 1944 and shot.
  3. In 2006 Sára Salkaházi was beatified outside St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest. This was the first beatification to take place in Hungary since that of King Stephen and his son Prince Imre in 1083.

3 reasons why we look up to her:

  1. In a time when it was quite a challenge for a woman to become independent, she has given up her freedom as a writer to join the Catholic Church and help poor workers and other people in need. She wrote about Hungarians, who lived as a minority in then Czechoslovakia, about poor workers and jobless people living in extreme poverty.
  2. She has done tremendous work: besides teaching for 26 hours a week, she supervised charity works, managed a religious bookstore, and published a periodical entitled Catholic Women.
  3. Even though she had german origins, in order to protest the rising Nazi ideology Salkaházi changed her last name to the more Hungarian-sounding “Salkaházi”. It was a truly bold action in a time, when everyone was doing the opposite. She also rejected the idea of communism.

3 juicy facts:

  1. In 1922–23 she was engaged for a few months, but later decided to send the ring back to his fiancé.
  2. In 1937 the Hungarian Benedictines in Brazil were asking for Sisters to work there in mission, and Sara was eager to go and also supported by Margit Slachta, but World War II intervened.
  3. In 1969 her deeds on behalf of Hungarian Jews were recognized by Yad Vashem and received the “Righteous Among the Nations” award.

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