(November 12, 1842 – November 21, 1902)
Frances Siedliska, a Polish noblewoman, founded our Congregation, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Rome, Italy at the beginning of Advent in 1875. In religious life, Frances was known as Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
Prior to that, as a young girl, Frances received a private education from governesses. In preparation for her First Communion in May of 1855, she was introduced to the zealous Franciscan Capuchin priest Leander Lendzian. It was then that she decided to offer herself to God.
Her dream of pursuing religious vocation became a reality in 1870 when she became part of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Lublin. In April of 1873, she again received transformative guidance from Father Lendzian who encouraged her to found an order, saying it was God's will that she do so. Siedliska was granted a private audience with Pope Pius IX in October 1873 when he gave her his blessing to organize a new religious institute modeled on the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Following the broad ecumenical vision of the foundress, our Congregation was international since its conception. Women of various nationalities have always been welcome. From Rome, the Congregation spread quickly throughout the world. Today, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth continue a rich tradition of ministry to families in Australia, Belarus, England, France, Ghana, Italy, Israel, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States of America.