CARDINAL WYSZYŃSKI ON THE WAY TO THE ALTARS

MILENA KINDZIUK

Everything points to the fact that on 28 May 2013 there is going to be a message about the end of the investigation of a miracle through the intercession of the Primate of Millenium. Undoubtedly, it is an important step, which can be significant for the beatification process of God's servant cardinal Stefan Wyszyński

One of the essential requirements necessary for announcing God's servant the blessed, is a miracle through his intercession.

-This requirement in the case of the primate Wyszyński has already been met - says Father dr. Gabriel Bartoszewski OFMCap from the Warsaw curia, who is a promoter of justice in many beatification and canonization processes. - For, the process of an alleged miraculous healing has already finished and on 28 May a message about it is going to be given.

It means that all documents concerning the miracle were gathered, as well as testimonies of witnesses, medical statements. Now everything will be sent to the Vatican congregation and will wait for a decision of the Holy See.

-The miraculous healing through the intercession of the Primate concerns a young woman, a resident of Szczecin, who suffered from thyroid cancer 24 years ago - says Father Bartoszewski. After an operation it turned out that there were metastasis. Doctors did not assure about any chances to live. Then her despaired family started praying for her health, through the intercession of cardinal Wyszyński. And, unexpectedly, the woman recovered. She has been alive now. The tumor disappeared, although from the medical point of view, the improvement of her health did not seem to happen.

The healing was examined by a special ecclesiastical commission. In March 2012 the metropolitan of Szczecin-Kamieńska diocese, archbishop Andrzej Dzięga opened the process of the alleged healing through the intercession of God's servant cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Now the process has been finished. The healing was confirmed. Whereas the works are being done on the preparation of 'Positio', which is essential in the beatification process, which is going to end with a decree about the heroism of virtues.

Forgiveness instead of hatred

A miracle is necessary - it is obvious. These are ecclesiastical procedures on the way to holiness. The one which is announced publically. But in fact, the whole life matters. Everyday choices, behaviour, motivation and faith.

How is it in the case of the primate Wyszyński?

The greatness of the Primate Wyszyński appeared especially during his stay in a prison. Since the very beginning, that is, since the year 1953, he had showed the heroism of his spirit, when he wrote in the 'Prison notes': most priests and bishops, with whom I worked, experienced prisons. There would be something immature in it if I had not experienced a prison. So, something appropriate is happening: I cannot feel grudge to anybody. Christ called Judah his 'friend'. I cannot feel grudge to those people who are around me…'

The primate did not feel grudge for all years of the 'isolative stay' in Polish communist prisons. Because, after all, he writes: 'Poles cannot hate: thanks to God and His Gospel'. And he was a Pole.

When in the beginning of his imprisonment the Primate found out that polish bishops had signed a declaration of loyalty with the communist authority (for this purpose he was given a fragment of a newspaper with an article about it), he reacted in evangelical way. And although cardinal Wyszyński was humanly hurt by the attitude of bishops, he transformed everything into the supernatural order. He wrote in the 'Prison notes': 'I thank you, Master, that you made my fate similar to yours, that You left a good example of my suffering in your Passion. Your Apostles left you, like bishops left me; disciples left you, like my priests left me…'

- The Primate worked out a skill of forgiveness in himself - emphasizes Fr. Andrzej Gałka - He could forgive bishops, who had left him during his custody. Not only did cardinal Wyszyński forgive them, but he did not deprive anyone of them of his function either. It proves his greatness and holiness.

In fact Wyszyński did not feel any hatred to anybody; even to those who had imprisoned him, kept him in difficult conditions, like in Stoczek Warmiński, where during a strong winter he overstrained his health. Ice and frost were everywhere at that time: in a corridor, in a prison cell and on windows. Rooms were not heated at all, walls were mouldy. In order to go out into a garden, the Primate had to shovel snow from stairs. Snowdrifts often made it impossible to leave the building at all. As the Primate wrote, Stoczek was a place in which he could not 'warm his feet' at all. He even had to wash himself in icy water. It happened that water got frozen. There were also days that the Primate could not write at all, because his frozen hands refused to obey him. His hands often got swollen, he had headaches, his kidneys and stomach often hurt him. Despite many requests, he could not have any medicine, even a painkiller. To his complaints, he heard from a commander that it was the very prisoner who was to be blamed for being in the prison.

Nevertheless he wrote in the 'Prison notes': 'I do not feel unfriendly emotions to anybody of these people. I would not be able to bring them any harm. It seems to me that I am in a full truth, that I am still full of love, that I am a Christian and a child of my Church, who taught me to love people, even those who want to consider me as their enemy'. He treated 'men in raincoats' as kings. Because, according to the Primate 'a man is a king of creation' and he deserves respect. Therefore he wanted his wrongdoers to feel that being a man means something great.

- In the prison the holiness of the primate Wyszyński appeared for good. For, he showed through his attitude how to love enemies, that is, those who did harm to us, betrayed us or deceived us. It is a great school of love, Christ's school of the highest level. But Christianity looks so - concludes Fr. Gałka.

Be Your will in Komańcza

- The primate Wyszyński spent the years in the prison as best as he could, still deepening his spiritual life. These were belief in God, full of trustfulness and a systematic prayer which kept him alive and protecting him from his breakdown. He could find a hidden sense of the events which he did not want or understand. 'Be Your will, as in the Heaven, so in Komańcza'…. and he added: 'Your will is so powerful, that it prompts me to accept this fact fully, that it gains my full submission. I feel Your power over me and I am becoming humble towards it'.

In another place he wrote: 'Even if you, my Best Father, did not have anything for me, than a stone thrown by a bad hand, I want to accept it with your greatest grace: I want to kiss it'.

It was an evident sign of his holiness. Only a saint could react so like cardinal Wyszyński to the death of his wrongdoer - Bolesław Bierut.

Wyszyński had the following dream just in Komańcza - He was going along the street, with the president Bierut and was talking to him. When they parted, Bierut crossed the street, not looking at road signs. 'He is even allowed to breach traffic rules' - thought the Primate. Later he was looking for Bierut but he had disappeared somewhere. And then the Primate woke up….The same day he found out that Bierut had died. He died in Moscow, charged with ecclesiastical excommunication. How did the primate Wyszyński react to it? At once he started praying for him. In the 'Prison notes' he wrote: 'I want to pray for God's mercifulness for the man who did a harm to me. Tomorrow I will celebrate the Holy Mass for the deceased. Now I forgive my culprit, trusting that fair God will find brighter deeds in this life which will conciliate God's Mercifulness'.

In the evening Wyszyński was thinking about his dream. He was sure: 'In the world there is communication of human souls'. He wrote: 'I have prayed for Bolesław Bierut in prison so many times. Maybe this prayer joined us together so much that he came for help. I was looking for him in the dream - and I will not forget the prayer for help. Maybe everyone will forget him quickly, but I will not. Christianity requires it from me'.

The Primate did not forget Bierut till the end of his life. As Fr. Andrzej Gałka says, cardinal Wyszyński was supplicating to the throne of God for mercifulness for him.

I remember till today when - soon after my ordination - I was in a private chapel of the Primate, he opened his half-yellow breviary, and took out two sheets of paper from it. On one of them he had written surnames of all priests, who had resigned from priesthood. He said that every day he prayed for them. And on another sheet there was the name of Bolesław Bierut. 'Every day I pray for him, because he was a man who made wrong choices in his life. But in fact he was not a bad man'. - I heard. I was surprised. It is just a real Christianity! And this is what holiness looks like.

Today it is seen that in the prison the holiness of Wyszyński appeared for good. The Primate stated that he would have never considered the three years of the imprisonment as the lost ones and the prison is for him 'the most suitable place for the present moment of the existence of the Church'.

- The stay in the prison clearly shows how the Primate was getting prepared for holiness - says Fr. Gałka - It was the time of a close friendship with Lord Jesus and Our Lady for him. He could trust God's Providence, notice God's will in his life. Therefore he left the prison as a completely a different man. It was also the time when he fell in love with Mary for good.

The feature of the holiness of Cardinal Wyszyński is undoubtedly his immense entrustment to Mary. According to the bishop's motto: 'Soli Deo' - For the very God' - 'Per Mariam' - Through Mary'. He felt he was her slave and considered Her as the best Advocate on the way to Heaven.

So, the Primate Wyszyński is not only a great patriot and a statesman. It is a great man of God, a man of unusual deepness of spirit, paying much attention to a prayer and leading a deep spiritual life.

(AA)

"Niedziela" 21/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl