FEAST DAY: MARCH 30
Born Helene Kafka in Moravia in 1894, she moved with her family to Vienna in 1896. Despite parental opposition, she joined the Hartmann Sisters, or Sisters of Christian Charity, a nursing order, taking the name Maria Restituta, after St. Restituta of Sora, who was beheaded in the third century.
Seasoned by World War I, she gained renown as an operating room nurse and anesthetist in Modling, Austria. Arrested by the Nazis in 1942 for religious activities in her hospital, she was beheaded in 1943, the only nun so sentenced in the Nazis’ German territories.