Sara, who lost her father at age two and saw her mother’s struggle to raise three children became a strong-willed little girl, a witty student, a social justice concerned teenager.
She earned a degree in elementary education, but after a year of teaching she quit and worked in a millinery shop, then in a bindery following a book binding training. Here she got first hand experience of the hard life of women. Sara tried to find her place in life; like many young adults today, she was searching. She began to participate in literary life and acquired a journalist license. Her writings dealt with the working poor, especially women, denouncing injustices and urging improvement of their condition.
In the meantime, Sara lived an easygoing, very active life of a journalist and artist: independence, cigarettes, cafes, dinner in pubs, gypsy music. She got engaged but after a few months she realized that serving just one family would not be fitting for her active, free-moving personality; she was also starting to hear a quiet call in her heart to her future vocation – so Sara breaks up her engagement.
It took some eight years of struggle to respond to the ever growing and urging call deep within. Sara wrote in her diary:
Then she met the Sisters of Social Service, attending their social work, social welfare program. Soon she began to see that she probably would fit in with these Sisters. They claimed as their call that with a strong relationship to God they were to take the Gospel-message to all sphere of human life, even politics; in a mobile life-style, and in a home-like atmosphere of community life. Sara realized that she needed to give up much; she took the leap end entered. The motto she chose at her first vows, “Alleluia” meant for her that she wanted to make her sacrifices with a joyful heart.
As a newly professed, strengthened by her enthusiasm for God, Sr. Sara put her gifts into service. She organized a charity Office, a children’s soup kitchen, the Association of Catholic Women, courses for education of working women; she taught catechism for children; supervised a Poor Asylum…she also manages to write. Her motto at her final vows: “Alleluia! Here I am [Lord], send me.” expressed her readiness to do whatever was asked of her because her heart was anchored in God; with her words: “Belonging to God is the only happiness, but it is such happiness that it outshines everything else.”
In her readiness, she took the risk of hiding persecuted people to save their lives. Her total self-giving happened when she was found out and shot to death; Sr. Sara became a martyr of Christian love, a martyr of the Church. Her diary shows her hard struggle to live her life authentically – but in the end she is proclaimed blessed by the Church; Pope Benedict XVI signed her decree of Martyrdom on April28, 2006. Her Blessedness will be celebrated on September 17 this year in Budapest, Hungary and on December 17 in Buffalo, NY at 3 PM at Blessed Sacrament church.
Sara’s life well illustrates that God calls people from all walks of life to a personal, loving relationship with and commitments to Jesus and to loving service in a variety of ways. God is still calling, but like Sara, we might not want to hear it, we might be too busy to listen to it -- or even struggle against it, going in the opposite direction as Jonah did.
Like with Sara, religious life is not a putting aside living or giving up our gifts and talents; rather a looking at these from the proper perspective and placing them to the service of God and our neighbor. With the support of one’s religious community, our gifts become intensified and our relationship to God deepened – in joy; “Alleluia! Here I am, send me.”