Miracles through the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski
The Primate ‘acts’ in heaven
A little is spoken about the graces people receive through the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski. But they exist. And there are thousands of them.
A woman living in Lodz was diagnosed with malicious cancer of her internal organs. Her doctors told her straight that there was no cure for the cancer. The diagnosis was like a verdict. ‘And then I began asking Primate Wyszynski for help, asking for his intercession with God on my behalf,’ the woman confesses. In hospital I had a picture of Cardinal Wyszynski. Looking at it I saw suddenly as if rays came through the Cardinal’s body and then embraced me. That lasted for about a minute. I had the impression that something was flowing from me and immediately I felt encouraged.’
A week later the doctors stated that the cancer was absorbed. They were astonished because from the medical point of view my condition could not have improved. Today this woman is 45 years old. She is convinced that she lives through the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski.
Another case: a priest from the Archdiocese of Czestochowa had prostate cancer. After the operation the doctor told him that the disease was incurable. The priest suffered lasting pain and the medicines did not cause any improvement of his condition. Then many environments began praying for him through the intercession of the Primate. One night the priest went to Jasna Gora and prayed before the Miraculous Picture for a long time. He also asked the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski. Suddenly he heard some inner voice saying, ‘Stay at home!’ ‘The next day I was to go to Katowice for another operation,’ he says. ‘Suddenly I was dazzled by the grace of health. I felt an immediate, miraculous healing. My organism began functioning normally and the pain disappeared. Then the doctor told him, ‘If you live one week I will recognise it as a miracle.’ After a week the same doctor stated, ‘I regard this case as a miracle of the Divine Mercy.’ And the priest is convinced that it was the Primate that saved his life.
Against the laws of nature
It turns out that Cardinal Wyszynski ‘acts’ in heaven in many ways and many matters. There are also spiritual healings through his intercession; there are conversions and returns to faith and the Church.
One of such events took place in 2000. A woman living in Zabki went to the tomb of Cardinal Wyszynski and prayed there for the grace of confession for someone she knew. ‘Finally this man went to confession. As penance the confessor told him to… go to the tomb of Cardinal Wyszynki and pray for his quick beatification,’ the woman says. ‘I was surprised by both the confession and the form of penance, which I regard as a sign.’
Another woman recollects a grace her father received. He was a party activist for years; he did not go to church and did not let his children attend lessons of religious instruction. His daughter prayed for his conversion, looking at the picture of Cardinal Wyszynski. ‘Soon I learnt that my dad participated in Lenten retreats during the Holy Week and on Good Friday he went to confession and received Holy Communion. And being surprised I asked him, ‘Daddy, have you hung the picture of Cardinal Wyszynski here?’ He answered, ‘Yes, my child. He was a very wise man.’
Those who receive similar graces report them to the Warsaw curia. They usually sent letters. ‘Currently, there are several hundreds of letters from all over Poland and other countries,’ says Rev. Dr. Gabriel Bartoszewski, OFMCap, who gathered some part of these letters and together with Katarzyna Michalska edited them in a special publication entitled ‘Wyprasza nam laski z nieba’ [He Intercedes for Us in Heaven] published by the Institute of Primate Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski.
‘I encourage you to turn to Primate Wyszynski for help in difficult matters. Sometimes God pleases to reveal the intercession of the saints through miraculous signs, i.e., events that cannot be explained by the laws of nature and knowledge,’ stresses Fr Bartoszewski who is the postulator in beatification and canonisation causes. ‘It is important to ask for graces with faith and above all, with the attitude to accept God’s will whatever it is,’ he explains.
Fr Piotr Nitecki, the deputy postulator of the beatification process of the Millennial Primate, is also convinced about the effectiveness of Cardinal Wyszynski’s intercession.
‘Talking to people I know that they receive graces through his intercession; they undergo conversion and change their lives. These are often people who never met the Primate,’ he says. ‘And it does not only concern the places connected with Cardinal Wyszynski, such as Komancza, Stoczek Warmiski or Zuzela, but all the places where people pray sincerely.
The first trace of a miraculous healing through the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski goes back to the funeral of the Primate in 1981 when a desperate mother prayed for a healing of her one-year-old daughter. The girl was burnt and was going to die soon. The woman was watching the broadcast of the Primate funeral at the station, on her return from the hospital. Then with all the strength she had she began asking him for help. The next day she became stunned when the doctor told her that he child would live.
That case was to be examined as a possible miracle needed for the beatification of Cardinal Wyszynski. Since the funeral is a special moment when the opinion on sanctity of a given person’s life is established. ‘However, it occurred that the medical documentation of that girl was lost and the examination was impossible,’ Fr Bartoszewski says.
Now another case will be examined. What? It is a secret at this stage of the process. But a miracle must be proved. It is a specific ‘seal of God’ in the whole process of beatification. It is an indispensable requirement to raise each candidate to the altars. Martyrs are the exceptions. That’s why a miracle was not needed in the case of Fr Jerzy Popieluszko (although graces and miraculous healings through his intercession have happened).
Saving priesthood, annulment of marriage
People also write requests and thanksgiving on pieces of paper and put them at the tomb of Primate Wyszynki in the Cathedral of St John in the Old Town in Warsaw. It is perhaps the most popular place of prayer through the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski.
‘Some time ago I put a candlestick at the tomb and people can light little candles on it. I am astonished to observe that there are always lit candles. And people are coming here to pray all the time,’ says Fr Bogdan Bartold, parish priest of the cathedral.
Moreover, foreigners come to his tomb. Recently there have been so many of them that the parish priest had to place the prayer of the Primate’s beatification in the English language there.
So far people have received thousands of graces through their prayers at the tomb. Like the testimonies included in the letters these graces can be divided in the following groups: physical healings, spiritual graces and help in various problems and worries. ‘That always happens with requests to all the saints since people’s problems are always the same, regardless the times they live in,’ Fr Bartoszewski stresses.
Primate Wyszynski is also an effective mediator in finding jobs. There are cases that he saved some priestly vocation, ‘I thank You, Cardinal Stefan, for your help thanks to which I have returned to my priesthood, which I left. Thanks to Your intercession I have returned,’ some priest left this note at the tomb of the Primate in the cathedral. There are also notes in which people thank for putting their family lives in good order, ‘I prayed to God and Our Lady through the intercession of Cardinal Stefan, asking him to look at my long-standing personal matters. My request concerning the annulment of my marriage was carefully investigated. At last after 24 years I can live a sacramental life of the Church. I have prayed for this grace at the grave of Cardinal Stefan.’
Cult and remembrance
All that happens in people’s souls: all supernatural signs that God gives through the intercession of Cardinal Wyszynski irrefutably testify about one thing: the development of the cult of the Great Primate.
‘Although one should clearly differentiate between the remembrance of Cardinal Wyszynski and his cult,’ Fr Nitecki explains. Prayers, pilgrimages to Wyszynski’s grave or Masses in the Warsaw Cathedral, celebrated every 28th of the month, are expressions of his cult. Whereas all scientific symposia, articles about Cardinal Wyszynski or monuments testify about people’s remembrance of him.
Both are certainly important. Besides, Primate Wyszynski himself attached great importance to remembrance. But the cult of the Primate is surely more important from the religious point of view. Since it constitutes a necessary condition to raise the Primate to the altars. It can happen in the near future.