Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Light in Our Darkness

Blessed Sara Salkahazi and Companion 

Today is the feast of St. John the Evangelist (also known as St.John the Theologian in the Christian East), one of the "Comites Christi" or 'companions of Christ' who are commemorated during the Octave of Christmas.

On this day we also remember a 20th century companion of Christ, Blessed Sara Salkahazi, who on this day in 1944 was martyred on the banks of the Danube River in Budapest alongside the Jewish women that she and members of her order, the Sisters of Social Service had given refuge.

Blessed Sara and others, such as Raoul Wallenberg and the founder of the Sisters of Social Service, Sr. Margit Slachta http://db.yadvashem.org/righteous/family.html?language=en&itemId=4044386 were truly light in the darkness of that terrible winter when the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators of the Arrow Cross, attempted to round up and execute the surviving  Jews of Budapest.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the names of the Jewish companions of Blessed Sara are not known. In this relief print which I made last year at this time as part of a series of saints for the Year of Mercy, I chose to depict her with one of the women with whom she died.

In 2005 the Hungarian sculptors Gyula Pauer and Can Togay created a moving memorial to all those who were executed on the embankment of the Danube.  They cast in iron some fifty pairs of shoes from the period and installed them, the various shoes of all styles and sizes representing the women, men and children put to death there.  The installation has become a place of remembrance and reflection.

You can also read more about Blessed Sara here:

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