Mary Teresa Kowalska She was born at Warsaw in 1902. Neither the names nor the occupations of her parents are known. At 21 years of age, Mieczyslawa sensed a call to religious life. She entered the convent of the Capuchin Poor Clares at Przasnysa on January 23, 1923, with the intent of making reparation for her family which had become permeated with the spirit of atheism. Her investiture took place on August 12, 1923, and she took the religious name Teresa of the Child Jesus.
She made her first profession on August 15, 1924, and her perpetual profession on July 26, 1928. She was a somewhat delicate and frail person, but open to everything and everyone. She served God in the convent with devotion and care. "Her way of doing things won the trust of everyone," recounted one of the nuns. She ministered in various capacities: doorkeeper, sacristan, librarian, novice director, and councillor. Sr. Mieczyslawa led a religious life in silence, totally dedicated to God, distinguishing herself for her zeal. One day this service to God was put to the ultimate test. On April 2, 1941, German soldiers burst into the cloister and arrested all the nuns, including Sr. Mieczyslawa who was sick with tuberculosis at the time. They were hauled off to the concentration camp of Dzialdowo. All 36 nuns were incarcerated in an enclosed space, under living conditions offensive to human dignity: a filthy environment, severe hunger, continual terror. The nuns were painfully aware of the fact that, in the camp, others - such as Bishop Anthony Nowowiejski and Leon Wetmanski of Plock, and many other priests - were being tortured.
After spending a month under those living conditions, even the sisters who had been healthy began to get sick. Sr. Mieczyslawa’s condition worsened all the more until she was unable to stand. Her lungs had begun hemorrhaging. Not only was she not given any sort of medical attention, but not even water was provided for her thirst or hygienic needs.
She endured her trials courageously and, as long as possible, prayed with the other nuns as well as by herself. In great pain, and knowing that death was imminent, she said to her sisters: "I will not leave here alive; I offer my life in sacrifice so that the sisters might return to the convent." Feverish and unable to rise from her bunk, she abandoned herself to prayer. Every so often she would ask the abbess: "Mother, will it be much longer? Will the end come soon?" She died during the night of July 25, 1941.
Her body was removed and no one knows what became of her remains. Her death became a focal point of reflection for the other nuns. They were convinced that Sr. Mieczyslawa died a holy death and had been welcomed into the glory of the blessed; they held her in special veneration. In keeping with what she had told them earlier, two weeks following her death – on August-7, 1941 - the nuns were liberated from, the death camp of Dzialdowo.
That liberation was interpreted as a grace received from God through the intercession of Sr. Mieczyslawa. It was an altogether singular occurrence, since the Germans generally did not leave behind survivors in the concentration camps. Although the sisters were unable to return to their convent at Przasnysz, they were, nonetheless, free.
Following their return to the convent at Przasnysz in 1945, the nuns kept alive the holy memory of the life and martyr's death of Sr. Mieczyslawa. Notes were made in the convent's Book of the Dead. In addition, accounts of Sr. Mieczyslawa were communicated to the convent's new candidates. Due to the conditions imposed on convents under the Communist regime, nothing has been published about Sister until now. The process of canonization had been instrumental in publicizing and spreading the news of her martyrdom.
(from Capuchin Sources)