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In the footsteps of the saints

As a young lawyer in Warsaw, Poland, Zofia Frąckowiak (TBP ’23) sometimes experiences moral dilemmas and spiritual battles in her work. As a woman who loves truth, she wanted to find reliable guides and a path to follow as she grows in her career and her life.

The opportunity to join other Christians to walk in the footsteps of the saints in Rome attracted Zofia to the TBP. It resonated with her; she had already begun digging into biographies of Polish women saints to learn from their example.

Zofia feels drawn to seek out the heroes of the faith, not only in books and prayer, but in the context of their lives. Her FIAT project will be a ”simple mobile companion ... to help connect with our sisters and brothers in heaven,” she says. TBP talked with her about how she hopes to put the saints literally “on the map.”


At the Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Tyniec, Poland


Description of the life of St. Faustina at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Poland

The first phase of Zofia’s FIAT is called “In the Footsteps of the Polish Women Saints” and will cover the seven canonized women saints Poland claims: Jadwiga von Andechs, Kinga of Poland, Jadwiga Andegaweńska, Julia Ledówkowska, Edith Stein, and Faustina Kowalska. “Wherever you go in Poland, I prepared a detailed description of biographies, points on the map with geolocation related to fragments of each saint’s life and prayers through her intercession, as well as famous quotes,” Zofia explains. She dreams of someday being able to expand the project to a full “Via Sanctis,” a way of the saints throughout Europe and beyond. What a monumental but valuable undertaking that would be!

Zofia says that her TBP Immersion gave her a real taste for the “discovery of non-touristic sites related to our religion.” More than just a tour, she explains, “the precise theological perspectives John shared at these places allowed me to go deeper into the ocean of Christianity.” And she says she feels comforted in the idea that wherever she goes, if she is lonely or having a bad day, a saint has been there before her to lead the way.


“In fact, I firmly believe in the use of these modern means of communication to become a saint and to speak to everyone around the world about holiness,” says Zofia, a notion that calls to mind the work of young Carlo Acutis, the young computer whiz who was beatified in 2020. Acutis used the internet to catalogue and make available and locatable the treasure of Eucharistic miracles.



At Jasna Gora Monastery in Częstochowa, a popular Polish place of Marian pilgrimage

Zofia knows that she is not alone in the need for guidance and a sense of community. “I wanted to somehow help modern women to sanctify themselves whatever their circumstances. I wanted to encourage and to give a model of perseverance, to give some support,” she says.


In terms of support, Zofia was paired as part of the FIAT program with mentor Julia Calinescu, SVP People and Co-Founder at Fluid Trends, and mother of four children. “Julia is a passionate woman taking her passion for meaning-oriented work and legacy to the tech industry and beyond,” says Zofia. “We regularly discuss the development of the project, new ideas, and comment on suggestions of improvement. We talk on WhatsApp and we pray for each other.”


Her mentor is excited about the FIAT project, and about working with Zofia. “It’s very inspiring to see how she is very passionate about her faith, and that she not only sees the challenges that young Catholics face today but uses her gifts and her knowledge to tackle them,” Julia says.


Learning to use one’s gifts passionately in service of the greater good is what the FIAT Project and the TBP are all about. “The TBP has inspired me to create,” says Zofia, “and I do hope the beauty of my future projects will touch and change the hearts of many people.”


Zofia points out that she is not a programmer. Her next step is to find a partner to help with the technical side of the work. We look forward to updating you as her project develops further.

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