First edition of Adele Dirsytė’s prayer book in English, 1960.

Facsimile of Adele Dirsytė’s prayer book.

Publication of Adelė Dirsytė’s prayer book in the underground of occupied Lithuania, 1964.

Adele Dirsytė
(1909 -1955)

ADELĖ DIRSYTĖ (born 1909, district of Kėdainiai; died 1955, Khabarovsk) After graduating from Kėdainiai Gymnasium, in 1928 Adelė Dirsytė entered the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy of the University of Lithuania. There she studied German and Lithuanian languages, pedagogy and psychology. Despite many difficulties, she was able to obtain a diploma before the Soviet occupation began. Adelė Dirsytė was an active participant and inspirer of religious gatherings. Unfortunately, all activities of Catholic organisations were suspended by the Soviet occupation in 1940. She attracted the attention of the authorities as she continued her work. She was arrested and charged with counter-revolutionary activities in 1946 (sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp and 5 years in exile). At first, she was imprisoned in Komi ASSR, later in camps in Taishet and Magadan. Living conditions were very poor, but she stayed loyal to her faith. Adelė was constantly persecuted and tortured. That affected her physical and emotional health. At the end of the detention period, Adelė was released from the camp, but did not return to Lithuania. Relatives were informed that she died at the Khabarovsk Hospital, but the circumstances of her death and the place of burial remained unclear. In the labour camp she wrote many prayers that were later turned into a book called “Mary, save us” (1953). This book has attracted great interest abroad. This book was secretly released in occupied Lithuania in 1964. The book can be seen as a testimony to her spiritual strength.