Biography of Karolina-Maria Rafalska

Born in 1883 in Mikhailovka, Emilchinsk district, Zhytomyr region. Prior to her arrest she lived in Veliki Les, Lugansk district. She was married and had eleven children. She was a person of deep faith. She and a friend led a village prayer group. In 1919 she was arrested and forcibly placed in a psychiatric hospital in Vinnitsyn. Released from the hospital in 1922 and after her return again secretly led the “Scapular Society.” In September 1938, after her husband was shot (i.e., by firing squad), the NKVD again summoned her and permanently exiled her without her family to a settlement in Maly Kiev region. She was not able to live in exile without her family and secretly she returned home where she lived in the basement right up until the German occupation. She lost her eyesight and was blind until her death. Despite the repressions, she raised all her children Catholic. Through her efforts all of them, and even some of her grandchildren, were baptized and married as Catholics. She dreamed of raising at least one son who would become a priest. She walked on pilgrimages to Berdychiv and Brailov and wanted to go to Częstochowa and Gidlo. She died in 1960 at age 77 and was buried in Verba, Dubnovsk district, Rovnensk region. Source: Letter from Yaroslav Rafalsky, St. Petersburg, 19 July 1999
Variant Names:
Rafalska, Karolina Maria; Rafalskai︠a︡, Karolina-Marii︠a︡ Stepanovna
Z︠H︡ytomyrsʹka oblastʹ (Ukraine); Luhansʹk (Luhansʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine); Vinnyt︠s︡ʹka oblastʹ (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine : Oblast); Berdychiv (Ukraine); Brailiv (Ukraine)
female; laity; survived