Maria Roszak (sister Cecylia)

POLAND supercentenarian data

  • Full name: Maria Roszak (religious name Cecylia)
  • Lifespan: (25.03.1908 – 16.11.2018)
  • Age: 110 years, 236 days
  • Birthplace: [private], Germany (now [private], Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland)
  • Last residence: Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
  • Application date: 25.03.2018
  • Validation date: 21.08.2021
  • Validation source: Waclaw Jan Kroczek

Biography

Maria Roszak was born in present-day Greater Poland Voivodeship (then German Empire) on 25 March 1908, the daughter of Jan Roszak and Maria Hofmann. In 1926, she graduated from State Economical School in Poznań. She made her first vows (for three years) on 7 February 1931. She then became a nun at the convent of cloistered Dominican nuns in Gródek in Kraków on 7 February 1934.

In 1938, Cecylia moved to Vilnius, Poland, where she spent the years of World War II. In Vilnius, she saved the life of several Jewish children from the Holocaust. For this deed, she was awarded with the Order Righteous Among the Nations in 2009, aged 101. Following the borders’ change, when Vilnius became part of the Soviet Union, Roszak returned to Kraków where she remained for the rest of her life. Finally, in 1991 Vilnius became the capital of independent Lithuania.

Roszak became a supercentenarian in March 2018. On her 110th birthday, she was visited by the Archbishop of Kraków Diocese, Marek Jędraszewski. She died in the Na Gródku Convent in Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland on 16 November 2018 at the age of 110 years, 236 days.

Maria Roszak (sister Cecylia) was the second-oldest living person in Poland (behind Tekla Juniewicz) and oldest living person in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship at the time of her death. She was also the oldest nun in Poland and the second-oldest living nun in the world (behind Lucile Randon of France), as well as being the oldest person in the history of Lesser Poland until her age was surpassed by Wanda Szajowska (1911–2022) also from Kraków.

Longevity attribution

When asked about the secret of her longevity, she replied: “You need to pray and learn languages.” Apart from her native Polish, she had a decent knowledge of English, German, French and Latin. She would run foreign correspondence on behalf of the monastery for many years.

Longevity recognition

  • Oldest living person in Lesser Poland Voivodeship (2016 – 2018)
  • Longevity Recordholder in Lesser Poland Voivodeship (2017 – 2021)
  • Vice-Doyenne of Poland (29.05.2018 – 16.11.2018)

Validation

The supercentenarian case of Maria Roszak (sister Cecylia) was verified by Waclaw Jan Kroczek, GRG Correspondent for Poland and Nordic Countries, and validated by the GRG on 21 August 2021.

Maria Roszak (sister Cecylia), aged 107.

Maria Roszak aged 12. (1920)

Maria Roszak, aged 30, during the interwar period as a nun in Vilnius, Vilnius Voivodeship, Poland (now Lithuania); 1938

Maria Roszak, aged 100, in the Na Gródku convent in Kraków; 2008

Maria Roszak (sister Cecylia) on her 110th birthday, visited by Marek Jędraszewski, archbishop of the Kraków Diocese – the last public photography of her; 2018

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