When she was 18 years old. Michaelina Horshevskaya wanted to become a nun with a contemplative order in her area. She went to her priest and he counseled her to take a one year vow of virginity instead, and to wait and pray. She agreed to what he asked, and not only lived under that vow for one year, but renewed it for the next two years as well.
When her three years were up, her priest approached her with the idea of her not only NOT joining the contemplative order, but establishing a women’s congregation in order to help meet the physical and social needs of the poor in her area. She agreed, and was sent off to join the Felician Sisters for a while to learn about their way of life and the running of such a group. When she returned, she took the name Josaphata, and became the Foundress of the Sister Servants whose charism was “serve your people where the need is greatest.”
Josaphata and her Sisters set about the work of teaching and caring for the sick and the poor. She went on to start a day care system and eventually a center so that poor parents would be able to work in the fields without worrying about their young children. Josaphata went on to study herbal medicines, and crafted home-made remedies for people who were too poor to pay a physician. Josaphata and the Sister Servants cared for their people during cholera and typhus epidemics, and helped to restore the churches in their areas.
She might have once sought a contemplative life, but the life God had other things planned for her. Josephata passed away in 1919 from tuberculosis of the bone. She is venerated today in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Churches.