RIP Sister Marije Kaleta - Death of Catholic Nun who Secretly Baptized Babies during Communist Rule

The Diocese of Sapa in Albania announced the death of the Nun, Sister Marije Kaleta. She was a sister in the convent of the poor of Francis of Stigma, consecrated through the Eucharistic Jesus.

She secretly went to priests during the communist regime in Albania (1976-1992), carried Communion to the sick and imprisoned priests, and baptized children in the villages. Sister Marije Kaleta, died at the Shkoder Monastery on January 2nd, 2022. 

Albania, in Southeastern Europe, is a small country with 2.8 Million people.

In 1967, all churches were closed, in Albania due to it's declaration of atheism. St. The sacrament, wrapped in linen cloths, was hidden under boxes. To make sure no one missed it, the host was made in collaboration with the other Franciscan and Dominican sisters. She had to live her religion secretly.

 Sister Marije's example greatly moved Pope Francis, who met the nun during a visit to Albania in 2014.  The Holy Father called her a beautiful example of how the Church can be a Mother. (

During a meeting with the pope at Tirana Cathedral, the nun recounted how a woman with a girl on her arms once ran up to her, asking to be baptized. 

"There are many events that have accompanied me over the years when it was publicly forbidden to display faith. With the simplicity of heart I am telling you an event. I was away from home from the cooperative. Along the way I hear a voice calling to me. A woman with a baby in her arms overtook me with her run. Her request was to baptize the baby, holding her in her arms. Out of fear, as I knew she was the wife of a communist, I tell her I have nothing to baptize her with, since we are in the middle of the road. She, out of great desire, tells me that there is water next to the canal. I tell her I have nothing to get out of that water. She kept praying for my daughter to be baptized. I, seeing her religion, removed the shoe I had worn. I took water from the canal and baptized him. Thanks to the knowledge of the priests I have had the good fortune to keep in a nightstand the Blessed Sacrament, so for the cases of sick people lying on their death beds. I have performed the services of religion, I do not know how, in fact today when I think about it, it seems incredible to me, how we endured those terrible sufferings, but I say with full conviction that the great God has given us strength, patience and hope.  

According to Sister Mary, nothing could be taken away from Jesus. It was her first and last thought every day, as she witnessed even at the cost of her freedom. She rejoiced that she was able to glorify God, that she could tell everyone that in the ordeal year, to remain faithful to the faith and to endure the strength we receive is from Jesus' presence, Jesus, whom we were able to keep at home as the most honorable and precious guest. 

Church honors for Sister Kaleta

 Such testimonies, caused Sister Kaleta to be honored not only by the people, but also to be awarded prizes and medals. Thus, in May 2017, on the day of Our Lady of Nunciata, at the request of the Diocesan Curia of Sapa, the Holy Father Francis awarded Sister Marije Kaleta the medal "Cross for the Church of the Pope" (Pro Ecclesia et Pontefice). The medal was first awarded by Pope Leo XIII on July 17, 1888, with the Apostolic Letter "Quod Singulari Dei Concessu", to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his priesthood. Today it is given to the laity or consecrated, who are distinguished for their service to the Church and the Pope of Rome. Also, in 2018, Sister Kaleta was declared "Honorary Citizen" of Vau i Dejës. Decoration,

Sister Marije Kaleta died on January 2nd in her convent in Shkodër, northern Albania.