30th Anniversary of the Beatification of Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz

by Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC

 

Thirty years ago, on June 28, 1987, at St.  Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope St. John Paul II raised our beloved Renovator, Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz, to the honors of the altar. It was truly a joyful day.

Saint John Paul II captured the heart of this holy man when he said in his homily: “He was a shepherd full of courage and initiative. … His only concern was always the salvation of the souls entrusted to his care. … I wish to remind you of his zeal. … In heroic degree he strove to be everything to everyone, deeply conscious of his pastoral mission, true apostle of unity, dedicated without reserve to preaching the gospel and the salvation of souls.”

For Blessed George (1871-1927), “to love” was “to serve.” The commandment of love of God and of neighbor, for him, was simply an invitation to a life of dynamic, self-giving and sacrificing. Love in relationship to God meant whole-hearted acceptance of Him and His Word, complete entrustment to His guidance, and making “God and His glory the center of life, the axis of all thoughts, feelings, desires, and works.”

To love God meant to love His Church, Christ’s body on earth through whom the Lord Jesus, together with the Holy Spirit, teaches, guides, heals, and sanctifies. For Blessed George, to love God also meant to love and serve His people, materially and spiritually. He addressed various needs as he saw them. For the neglected orphans, he established orphanages and helped them materially. To serve the elderly and those who were poor, both materially and spiritually, he founded two religious communities of women religious. For mistreated workers, he helped establish unions. For the unemployed, especially those who lacked skills and places of work, he established technical schools and places of gainful employment. For those wounded and spiritually impoverished by atheism, tepidity, immorality, and apostasy, he established centers of spiritual and intellectual formation.

When he saw human families divided by ethnic antipathies, political party affiliations and ideologies, he called them to unity. “We are all Christ’s and we belong to the party of Christ.” When he witnessed people continually hurting one another, unable to let go of past wounds, he preached St. Paul’s motto: “Overcome evil with good.”

He saw ordinary Christians as powerful instruments in God’s hands who proclaim the Gospel through the witness of their daily lives and bring Christ and the Spirit of God into their homes, work places, centers of learning, and political activities. He used every possible means to bring to all humanity Christ and His Kingdom of truth, grace, love, justice, mercy, and peace. He was able to do so by the power and grace of God, flowing into his heart, through his intimate union with Christ amid his fruitful ministerial and sacramental activity. Christ became his “all in all.” May we be inspired by his example and imitate him in his wholehearted love and zeal for Christ and His Church.

Blessed George is a powerful intercessor, through whom many have received great graces. If you wish to begin a novena of prayer through his intercession, here is the prayer you may use:

Prayer for a Special Grace through the Intercession of Blessed George

O God, our Lord and Father, You surround us always by Your care; receive our humble petition, and through the intercession of Blessed George, who suffered so much for Your glory and for the increase of Your Kingdom here on earth, grant me the grace for which I ask You with confidence, promising to live from now on with greater fidelity to Your commandments. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be to the Father …

 

Source: www.padrimariani.org

Saint Stanislaus Papczyński – A Year After His Canonization

On June 5, 2016, Pope Francis proclaimed a Saint of the Catholic Church the Founder of the Congregation of Marian Fathers. Since that day, devotion to St. Stanislaus Papczyński developed on a scale that has surprised even his most devout venerators.

For many years, holy Fr. Papczyński, who lived more that 300 years ago, remained a mysterious and little known character. All this has changed recently since this Saint has “reacquainted” himself with the faithful, by obtaining from God many miracles and extraordinary graces. His canonization process not only led to the elevation to the altars of the Marian Founder – the event eagerly awaited for over three centuries – but also brought closer to the faithful the person of the new Saint and his teaching, so very relevant for our times. The numerous testimonies about graces granted through the intercession of this saintly Father were collected and published as a book entitled Miracles and Graces Granted Through the Intercession of St. Stanislaus Papczyński. Pregnant women, couples trying for children, the sick, the suffering, and those in difficult life circumstances can count on Fr. Stanislaus’s particular regard.

 

Venerators of St. Stanislaus Papczyński praying at his tomb at Marianki in Góra Kalwaria.

Since the canonization, many inexplicable phenomena have come to pass practically in every place where the Marian Fathers minister. One of them was the healing of a baby in his mother’s womb that occurred in Brazil. Several independent doctors declared the unborn child to be in the death throes and recommended immediate termination of the pregnancy. The woman, however, would not agree. She obtained from a Marian missionary the relic of St. Stanislaus Papczyński. She held it in her hands and also placed on her belly as she recited the Novena through his intercession. And then she gave birth to a healthy child, something that the doctors were not able to explain, as Fr. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC, General Superior of the Marian Fathers has told us.

 

Devotion to St. Stanislaus Papczyński is popular among the Cameroon youth.

The custodian of relics of St. Stanislaus Papczyński received such a great number of requests for relics that a number of applicants had to be placed on a waiting list. The letters arrived from all over the world, i.e., from the U.S., the Philippines, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The most recent ones came from India, Brazil, and Vietnam. The Novena to St. Stanislaus has been translated into many different languages. The first parish in the world placed under the invocation of St. Stanislaus Papczyński was opened on Sept. 18, 2016, in a town near Kigali in Rwanda. School and college students in the Philippines chose him as their patron for the most difficult exams. Prior to going to the health center for delivering their babies, pregnant women from the Nyakinama parish in Rwanda stop before the statue of the St. Stanislaus Papczyński, asking for help for themselves and good health for their babies.

 

Devotion to Saint Stanislaus among the Vietnamese.

The novena to St. Stanislaus Papczyński enjoys great popularity in Poland. More than 91,000 people visited the Novena page on the site of the Association of Marian Helpers in Poland. Two films were produced for the canonization: Father Stanislaus’s Cenacle and Saved to Save the Others. Thanks to various TV stations, as well as many DVD’s, more than 2 million people saw these movies. Five thousand guests visited the Góra Kalwaria museum dedicated to the new Saint. During a three-month period, the faithful coming to pray at St. Stanislaus’s tomb filled with their names and notes the entire visitors’ book that previously was sufficient for a number of years. The combined releases of books about the holy Fr. Stanislaus numbering nearly 150,000 copies were completely exhausted.

We can talk about a true devotion to a saint only when the faithful consciously choose to imitate his virtues, – said Fr. Wojciech Skóra, MIC, Custodian of St. Stanislaus Papczyński’s tomb in Góra Kalwaria. – And this is already happening. Our pilgrims tell us: “Father Papczyński had to overcome so many obstacles in his life, but he always trusted in God, in every circumstance. I would like to do the same.”

 

Image of St. Stanislaus Papczyński at the entrance to the chapel of the House of Studies in Karumathur, India.

On the first anniversary of St. Stanislaus Papczyński’s canonization, the Association of Marian Helpers cordially invites everyone to participate in a joint Novena. It will begin on June 5, 2017, with the Holy Mass celebrated at 7:00 p.m. at the Church of Our Lord’s Cenacle in Góra Kalwaria. All intentions submitted via the Internet will be delivered to Marianki in Góra Kalwaria and placed at the tomb of St. Stanislaus Papczyński. It was in this very church that a dead young girl was resurrected during Mass celebrated by the holy Fr. Stanislaus in the 17th century. Many pilgrims, who visit the Church of Our Lord’s Cenacle, which holds the tomb of St. Stanislaus Papczyński, regard this church as a shrine, although officially this title has not yet been granted.

Maciej Talar on the website:  www.padrimariani.org

… our picture:

Statue of St. Stanislaus at the entrance to the Religious House of Marians in the Philippines, El Salvador, Misamis Oriental.