Sister Josaphata Hordashevska – foundress of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate

April 13, 2015

Once there was a wonderful woman who received a Call to become the first Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. She lived a life packed full with love and courage, and after her death, she still intercedes before God for all who come to her asking for help and healing.
Who was this woman called by God? Her name was Michaelina Hordashevska, born 1869 in Lviv, Ukraine. Her childhood was that of an average middle-class family. At age 18, after making a retreat led by a Basilian missionary, Father Jeremiah Lomnitskyj, she gradually be-came convinced that she would serve God as a religious.
In Ukraine as that time, there were no active communities of Ukrainian Catholic Sisters that would serve the poorer people in the villages. Father Lomnitskyj, with Father Kyrylo Siletskyj, pastor in Zhuzhel, asked her to become the first one! She consented.
Newly consecrated Sister Josaphata welcomed seven young women to a modest home in Zhuzhel on August 25, 1892. She formed the first Sisters with compassion and love, and they entered wholeheartedly into serving all of God’s people in Ukraine. Their mission was to have special concern for children, youth and those who suffered or were spiritually neglected.
To know her better, let us ponder a few of her words.
“O Christ, life of my soul, let my soul live in You, for You and through You. Let it think about You, talk about You and work for You... You are my wisdom, my strength and my joy.”
“O Jesus, Your light continually shines brilliantly, although our eyes are dimmed by the dark-ness that surrounds us . . . save us through your Holy Name, let us arrive safely, and finally rest forever in Your Embrace, O my God.”
“What is all the world compared to God? What is early life compared to eternity? I resolved to do my daily duties better, remembering that God is looking at me, and I want to give pleasure to His eyes.”
“O Lord, my Love, my Happiness, greater than any human tenderness!”
Sr. Josaphata’s life was short. She passed away at the age of 49, after great physical suffering. As well, she “was often a victim of intrigues and human envy... she entrusted herself to God’s Providence and to the protection of the Mother of God, often in a heroic manner.” And her life bore much fruit. Following are a few of many tes-timonies received by the Sisters.
“In 1990, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident. The doctor’s diagnosis was: a whiplash, cracked sternum and sev-eral fractured ribs. The whiplash mended and the sternum healed, but one year after the accident, the ribs had not yet healed and the doctor was concerned. A Sister Servant gave me a cross that she had placed on the urn with the mortal remains of Sister Josaphata; she told me to place this cross on the ribs and pray for healing through Sister Josaphata’s intercession. I complied and prayed to Almighty God through the intercession of Sister Josaphata. Two weeks later my doctor took X-rays and lo and behold, my ribs had healed and the pain had disappeared.” Kelowna, Canada.
“I am a medic and an ex-alcoholic. I had an unfortunate incident at work for which I was sentenced to ten years in prison. At that time I did not know God, but I was searching for Him. When I was released from prison, I did not know which Church I should belong to: Orthodox, Catholic, or Baptist. I went into a Catholic Church and asked the Mother of God to show me which church I should attend. I was captivated by the Catholic Church and was hungry to learn about it. I re-ceived some religious books from the Sisters Servants in Rome and among them was “Josaphata” with a prayer for her intercession. I started to pray fervently to her so that she would help me to overcome alcoholism. I saw that alone I would not be able to resist the temptation. I kept repeating: “Help me, Josaphata, I cannot do it alone, everything is drawing me to sin.” I know the intercessory prayer to Josaphata from memory, and thank God I have corrected my life. Every day I feel stronger in my faith and I enjoy inner peace. Thank you, Sister Josaphata, for helping me, a relative of mine had a serious heart attack. The doctors at the Medinstitute in Lviv and those at the Regional Hospital did not give us any hope. Then I started to pray through the intercession of Sister Josaphata. Today my relative is alive and well.” – Basivka, Ukraine.
This was truly a holy woman. Let us turn to Blesssed Josaphata with our hopes and needs, and ask her to intercede to God for us. "Gratitude impels me to love You, and how I would rejoice if You were loved by millions and millions of hearts."



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