A Short Biography of Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska, RN gives a glimpse into the extraordinary life of a holy, 20th-century woman who changed Polish healthcare and the worldwide Catholic Church through her tireless efforts to serve her patients both medically and spiritually — even in the face of Communist oppression.
Woman of faith. Polish nurse. Medical pioneer. In A Short Biography of Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska, RN, discover the inspiring story of the first lay registered nurse to be beatified. Before a nursing school existed in her native Poland, Hanna Chrzanowska (1902-1973) chose to become a professional nurse. After she helped tend to war refugees during World War II, her pioneering career shaped Polish nursing, serving to form countless students as she helped innumerable patients. Above all, Hanna was a committed Christian who followed the Gospel call to love and serve one’s neighbor, even when the Communist government of Poland made that difficult. With the help of hundreds of student volunteers, professional nurses, and committed lay and consecrated people of the Kraków Archdiocese, she established parish nursing in late 1950s Kraków and introduced homebound and disabled patients to retreats, home Masses, and re-integration into parish life. Blessed Hanna worked closely with Cardinal Karol Wojtyła. It was largely under her influence that, years later, as Pope St. John Paul II, he designated the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes as the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. Her canonization cause was opened at the request of her nursing colleagues, who knew she was a saint.