SHKODER – Sister Roza Kraja was born on March 13, 1931 in Shkoder. At 10 she entered the school of the Stigmatine nuns of Scutari where she met Marije Tuci, an aspiring nun and the only woman among the 38 martyrs.
On March 10, 1946, before her 15th birthday, on the 13th, the convent was closed and converted into a court, so they were forced to leave, Marjie moved to teach elsewhere.
Roza returned to her parents, she had two younger brothers and two older sisters. For 10 years she tried to help her family by embroidering, going to the Franciscan church every day to listen to mass.
Meanwhile, Marjie was arrested and taken to Shkoder prison, where she was brutally tortured. The conditions inside the prison were horrible, she had the possibility to change only once a month and was exposed to cold and rain, often wet on purpose by her captors.
“She was sick and very thin, unrecognizable, that was the last time I saw her,” Sister Roza told me who, with other school friends, went to the hospital to see how she was.
At the age of 25 she wrote to nursing school but, after just 2 days, she was thrown out because her uncle had been in prison for political reasons. The brother of his uncle’s wife was a doctor and helped her resume her studies.
She was a brilliant student and, at the end of her studies, after a few years in surgery, she was assigned an area of Shkoder where she was a nurse for the locals. She rode a bike and vaccinated, weighed and took care of the children.
For 25 years she collaborated with a pediatrician and, at the age of 55, she retired and returned home where her father still was. At 60 communism ended and at 61 she was proclaimed a nun of the order of the Stigmatine without novitiate.
From 1991 for 11 years she worked as a cook in the convent until she had health problems such as bronchopneumonia. She currently lives in the convent of the Stigmatine Sisters in Shkoder.