A MIGHTY MAN OF THE SPIRIT, WISDOM AND HUMANITY
His whole life consisted of everyday credo – humble faith confession in the one holy and universal and apostolic Church
Cardinal Stanisław Nagy SCJ – a witness of life of John Paul II, a prominent theologian and fundamentalism expert, senior of Polish ecclesiology experts, wandering professor, who left behind his strong, intellectual sign in many academic centres in Poland and at universities abroad – he passed away to Lord on 5 June 2013.
A messenger of the teaching of John Paul II
During 68 years of his busy priestly life, he spent 40 years at the side of John Paul II. – He was joined with the Polish Pope with a great love to the Church and to homeland, and wisdom which they gave to each other. Their common love – in the opinion of the metropolitan of Cracow cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz – led Fr. Prof. Nagy to cardinal’s dignity ( in 2003), as John Paul II wanted to appreciate great Polish scholars in his person and the holy Polish theology.
The chief editor of the ‘Sunday’, Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś, being in friendship with the Cardinal for long years, called him a messenger of the great pontificate of John Paul II, a bridge between Rome from the times of the Polish Pope and homeland. Many articles about the teaching of John Paul II were printed by cardinal Nagy in the ‘Sunday’, who became a permanent interpreter of his thoughts. ‘I think that I was lucky to be a little inconvenient companion of his road, whose end was the ‘ See of Peter’ – as the privileged witness of the life of the Polish Pope said.
The friendly bond with Fr. Prof. Karol Wojtyła had already been built by the cardinal in the end of the 50s of the XX century. At that time they were travelling together by night train, with lectures from Cracow to the Catholic University of Lublin. For years they had cooperated together closely. The Professor’s knowledge was needed especially during the works of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Cardinal Wojtyła, as a father of the Vatican Council, found him a close and good theologian, a prominent ecclesiology expert. ‘So, I was a kind of a ‘little key’ for him, supporting him in fulfilling functions of the Vatican Father’ –admitted cardinal in an interview, which was conducted by Fr. Zbigniew Morawiec SCJ (‘On the roads of life’, Publishing House of Priests of the Sacred Heart). They also often rested together, organizing skiing trips and mountain hiking. ‘Trips created an atmosphere of being with God, and they were also somehow following the traces of great Wojtyła’ – said cardinal Nagy (ibid.)
Love of Homeland is a holy obligation
Deep attachment to the Church and to the Holy Father and to the Homeland, was treated by cardinal Nagy as something natural, and even as his holy obligation. He was a great Pole and a great patriot. He loved God, the Church and the Homeland with unconditional love. He had been participating actively in current matters till the last day. He showed courage and intransigence in proclaiming the truth, he remained faithful to Christian values, often being their public absolute defender. He called things by name, becoming a conscience of Polish people. He used to say that there were no compromises in reference to the fundamental values, in this sphere he was always very strict and demanding.
During one of the meetings in the editorial office of the ‘Sunday’, in 2004 the Priest Cardinal helped us realize the fact that united Europe brings many dangers, and people, who feel disturbed by Christian values, will attack the Church, being the last, still unconquered fortress of the Old Continent. ‘On the other hand, we are supposed to be free from fear – he said – because we have already overcome many enemies of Divine values, although they were ‘armed from feet to head’. Being in Paris at the Seine, in Rome at the Tiber, in Germany at the Rhein, in London at the Thames – feel at home. And be aware that your hands are not empty. We are rich with the wealth of the dynamic Church – which builds churches, and does not sell churches. This is our power’.
‘The great man in front of whom whole Poland has knelt’ – said the chairman of the Publishing House Biały Kruk Leszek Sosnowski about the deceased Cardinal, reminiscing that on 18 May 2013, on the anniversary of the birthday of John Paul II, the Cardinal had arrived at the great patriotic meeting in the historical Hall of Falcon in Cracow. It was his last public meeting.
In the current edition of the ‘Sunday’ we also publish one of the last or maybe the last meeting of cardinal Nagy with young people – students of the Minor Seminary in Częstochowa, which took place on 14 April 2013. He also gave a short interview to the editors of the seminary magazine.
A priest according to the Heart of Jesus
Cardinal Stanisław Nagy was a priest of the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the cardinal’s Coat of Arms he placed: the symbol of the Heart of Jesus, Bible, anchor – the sign of hope and faith and a monogram of words ‘Ave Maria’. His motto were the words: ‘I laid my trustfulness in you, Heart of Jesus’.
It is worth reminding that as a 16-year-old boy he set off into the world and joined the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart, which had been a family for him since then and forever. He could not enjoy his living father, and hardly knew his mother, but in his priestly life an exceptional father appeared – Karol Wojtyła and he was growing spiritually within the radiation of his fatherhood.
In the opinion of cardinal Dziwisz, the openness of the heart is a key to understand the attitude of cardinal Nagy, who was a priest according to the Heart of Jesus. In this spirit he was realizing his vocation through his whole life, entrusting everything to the Sacred Heart, what constituted him and leading others to the Heart of the Redeemer.
But he also reached far with his heart and embraced everybody with love. He always asked for memory in a prayer. He often phoned our editorial office in Częstochowa, even with his personal mobile phone. Every talk finished with a question for prayers for him and checking whether we took his intentions to Jasna Góra. He always participated in the Jasna Góra Appeal prayer at 9 pm via the Television Trwam.
From heart to heart
Cardinal Stanisław Nagy passed away to Lord in June, a month devoted to the Heart of Jesus. He was an appreciated educator of young generations of priests of the Sacred Heart, a prominent professor of the fundamental theology, a distinguished theologian, completely devoted to the Church and the Holy See, trusted friend of the Holy Father John Paul II – Fr. Artur Sanecki, a Provincial superior, wrote in a special message on behalf of the Polish Province of Priests of the Sacred Heart. ‘We say farewell to our Brother in the person Priest Cardinal who felt Priest of the Sacred Heart till the end and who devoted to the word ministry till the last days, who entrusted his life to the Divine Heart till the end’ – emphasized the Father Provincial Superior.