Ciborium and ashes
After the sisters were taken away to an unknown place on 11th December 1941, the news spread quickly to Sarajevo. It was a shock, after which the sisters spent nights in prayer, believing that their prayers would empower the sisters who were at risk. Uncertainty became even greater when Franjo Milišić, the caretaker in a convent in Pale, came to Sarajevo and said he did not know anything more than, that the sisters had been taken away and that the convent set on fire.
The last days of Advent were filled with apprehension about the sisters. This year the joy of the birth of Christ was mixed with the anxiety of news about the missing sisters. The Provincial Superior Sr. Lujza Reif, not knowing that the missing sisters were already killed, wrote in her Christmas Circular letter urging the sisters in the whole Province to pray. Sr. Lujza tirelessly sought any information about the destiny of the sisters, but to no avail.
After Christmas, on 27th December, three brave sisters went to visit Pale. All they found was burned wreckage. All they found, at the place where the altar had been, was a molten ciborium the symbol of many Masses, prayers and thanksgivings. Inside the ciborium one could clearly see five prints of burned Hosts. Immediately it sprang to their mind, “five prints – five victims!” Shaken, with tears in their eyes, they took the ciborium and the small crucifix, carefully collecting some ash of the burnt Missal in a tin which they found there. They took these things in order to keep at least a little part of the earthly reality which had been destroyed by the fire. They could not even imagine that these would be the only memories and the only connection with their sisters from Pale whose bodies the river Drina had accepted in its depths.
Two months of prayers, anticipation and seeking information passed and then on 13th February 1942 came a report from the military Headquarters of the Vojna Krajina which confirmed the saddest suspicions – the sisters had been imprisoned, then taken from the prison and killed in Goražde.
That was the saddest news in the history of the Province. Sisters were affected by the deep pain for their “best sisters” but at the same time were encouraged by their perseverance and fidelity. By their death the Catholic Church is richer for five virgin martyrs, and the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Charity is richer for five intercessors in Heaven.