Sister Jula Ivanišević

Sister Jula Ivanišević was born on November 25th, 1893 in Staro Petrovo Selo, Slavonia, Croatia. She was 8th out of 11 children born to Terezija Šimunović and Nikola Ivanišević, she was baptized Kata. Her childhood and adolescence was spent in her native village and it was there where she finished elementary school.

When Kata was 18, she asked her mother to let her go into the convent. Her mother was strongly determined against this, saying that there was absolutely no way she could do without her favourite daughter in her illness and old age. There were two more daughters living at home at the time, Tera and Ana. The mother used to say from time to time that both Tera and Ana could go into the convent if they wanted to, but there was no way she could let Kata go. Tera and Ana, however, did not feel the call to Religious Life.

Kata's departure for the convent had to wait for another two years. At that time her mother suddenly fell ill from pneumonia and died in January 1914. Only a month later, on February 7th Kata got her documents and left for her dearly desired and long-awaited goal, the Daughters of Divine Charity Convent of St. Joseph's Institute in Sarajevo. She bade farewell to all her friends and acquaintances in her village happily telling them that she was going off to serve Jesus from then on.

From 1914-1915 she spent some time in Breitenfurt, Austria to learn the German language which she would need for her further formation in her novitiate.

1915 she put on her nun's habit and was given her religious name Jula. Sr Jula made her first profession (religious vows) in 1916. She took her final vows on July 29th, 1923 in Sarajevo. She served in various places in Bosnia and Croatia. In 1932 she was sent to Pale, Bosnia where she was appointed as the superior of the community and stayed there till the end of her life where she together with her whole community was tortured and murdered in Goražde, Bosnia, on December 15th, 1941 with her fellow sisters known as the ‘Martyrs of Drina’.

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