I just learned her story over on the Book of Face repeatedly, and I love her so much!:
Meet Bl. Sara Salkahazi, a chain-smoking journalist who became a misfit Sister, a Nazi-defying rescuer of Jews, and a martyr.
Born to an upper-class Hungarian family, Bl. Sara was something of a wild thing, a strong-willed tomboy who trained as a teacher but later left the classroom out of a desire to be more united to the working poor.
When Bl. Sara met the Sisters of Social Service, she was an agnostic socialist journalist but was overcome by a sense of call. It was through this call to religious life that she met Jesus, but when she applied to the order she was rejected because she was a chain-smoker. It took her a year to kick the habit, after which she was accepted into the order.
Still, she didn’t quite fit. She was too loud, too big, too much. The Sisters thought she was trying to draw attention to herself when she was just trying to be who God made her to be. She wasn’t permitted to make vows with the rest of her group and was even told not to wear the habit for a year, the Sisters not wanting to be associated with this problem-like-Maria. Around this time, Sr. Sara wrote this:
I am short-tempered, vehement, nervous and passionate but still I love you!
I am disobedient, stubborn and defiant yet I love you!
I am restless, hasty and confused but I love you!
I am dark, envious and making comparison but I love you!
Sr. Sara persisted. Ultimately, she was permitted to make vows and became a powerful worker in the vineyard, publishing a Catholic women’s periodical, establishing a working-class women’s college, and running a Catholic bookstore in addition to all her charitable works. She changed her name to the more Hungarian-sounding Salkahazi to needle the Nazis, and began to work to hide Jews and smuggle them to safety. She’s credited with single-handedly saving at least 100 Jewish lives during WWII and was declared Righteous Among the Nations for her work.
In 1944, Bl. Sara was returning to the home where she was hiding Jews and saw Nazi soldiers. Rather than save herself, she chose to die with those she loved. She approached, was arrested, stripped, and shot on the banks of the Danube, a misfit, a martyr, and a Saint. (And a real kindred spirit!)
I love her so much, and I especially love that prayer! I love saints who are the Real Deal.