The congregation of
Ursuline Sisters


The congregation of Ursuline Sisters

St. Urszula Ledóchowska—the mother of orphans, carer of youths, ambassador of Polish culture

You are now in front of an orphanage opened in 1938 by Mother Urszula Ledóchowska for the Ursuline sisters (called grey due the colour of their habits), that served as a religious house at the same time.

Urszula, or actually Julia Ledóchowska, moved to Lipnica with her parents and her nine siblings in 1883 from Loosdorf, Austria, when she was 18. Upon her arrival in her father’s homeland, she helped her parents manage the household, took care of the sick and poor, assisted in the preparations of boys who wanted to enter a clerical seminary. Three years passed and she entered the congregation of the Ursuline sisters in Cracow, where she served for the next 21 years, gaining recognition as a wise and demanding pedagogue. In the subsequent years of her service as a nun, she run Catholic orphanages around Europe: first in Russia, and after the outbreak of the First World War, in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, mainly providing help for Polish emigrants.  

She also engaged in the Relief Committee for War Casualties established in Switzerland by Henryk Sienkiewicz. When Poland regained independence, she returned to her country and settled in Pniewy near Poznań. She launched the Congregation of the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony, which worked in the field of education and evangelisation, and helped the poor. The congregation grew very quickly: new religious houses were established not only in Poland, but also in Italy and France.

Sister Urszula Ledóchowska died in Rome in the fame of sanctity on May 29, 1939. She was remembered to be always serene and helpful, a loyal follower of Jesus, providing help to those most in need. She was beatified by John Paul II in 1983. 50 years after her departure, in 1989, her mortal remains were moved from Rome to Pniewy. Lipnica Murowana was among the parishes via which the relics travelled there. Urszula was canonized in Rome in 2003.

Now go to the most important monument in Lipnica: the church of St. Leonard.