IT WILL BE VATICAN WHICH WILL MAKE A DECISION

MILENA KINDZIUK

The process about acknowledging a miracle through the intercession of blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko enters the second decisive phase. For, the ending of the French phase means that the issue will get to Vatican now and it will be decided there whether the road to canonization of the priest will be opened

The date of ending the French phase of the process about acknowledging the miracle through the intercession of blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko is only allegedly accidental. Why? Because on 14 September remains of previous bishops are transported to the newly-built cathedral in Creteil. On this day the first Holy Mass is going to be celebrated in this new French church, which has not been consecrated yet. Bishop Creteil Michel Santier suggested that after this solemn ceremony, which is going to be attended by many priests and laymen, there should be an official session ending the diocesan process about the alleged healing through the intercession of blessed Fr. Popiełuszko, which took place in the diocese near Paris. So, both ceremonies will be important both for this diocese near Paris and for the whole country. For, the Polish martyr becomes more famous and popular. Moreover, on 14 September 2015 there is also the third anniversary of this unordinary healing (it took place in 2012).

Finally, the day of 14 September is the birthday of Fr. Popiełuszko and the birthday of Fr. Bernardyn who prayed for dying Francois, calling for help of Fr. Jerzy, whom he considers as his twin brother.

- So, this is a great day , especially that after 14 September, that is, after ending the process…., the issue of blessed Fr. Popiełuszko is going to Vatican – explains Fr. Prof. Józef….from the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw, a notary in the process and a member of the Canonization Tribunal. – The first phase of investigation is ending and we should believe and pray for it, so that this phase, after further works and investigations, raise the acknowledgement of this miracle through the Congregation for Canonization Issues and announcing the canonization by the Holy Father – says the notary.

There are no findings

Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, has been officially blessed since 6 June 2010. – at that time there was his beatification in Warsaw. However, much earlier, (practically from the beginning, since he had been murdered in 1984), people have been experiencing graces through his intercession. Many of them said that these were real miracles. However, because Fr. Popiełuszko was beatified as a martyr, no miracle was investigated in the beatification process. The very act of devoting his blood for faith is a sign of holiness, hence no miracle is necessary for stating the beatification of the martyr.

However, in order to make another phase possible, and canonize the martyr, at least one miracle through his intercession should take place. Then it is carefully investigated – first in the process on the diocesan level, and later by Vatican. And this is so in the case of blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko.

The diocesan process for acknowledgement of the alleged miracle took a year (since 20 September last year) in the diocese of Creteil, because healing of 29-year-old Francois Audelan took place there; he was healed from a severe neoplastic illness. As it was possible to see thanks to transmission of the public opening of the process, he even took part in ceremonies and was reading teachings during the inauguration Holy Mass.

The very course of the investigation is kept in secret. It is impossible to reveal any details. Members of the Canonization Tribunal always work under the oath vowed onto the Bible. Under the oath of keeping secret, they are also hearing witnesses of the healing and are investigating medical documentation of the healed man. They are checking everything from the formal, medical and religious point of view. For, in this type of the process there is an essential question whether the healing has got a religious aspect, that is, whether it happened through the intercession of the candidate to be canonized.

Work in this phase of the process is based on collecting materials, whereas decisions will be made in the Holy See. It will be Vatican which will decide about acknowledgment of the miracle and possible canonization of blessed Fr. Jerzy. Therefore, now, the Holy See will receive documents translated into Italian and transcripts with hearings of all witnesses. Separate works and investigations will be begun by the Congregation for Canonization.

Cult is developing

Whereas, in France a spontaneous cult of blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko is developing. More and more people pray through his intercession, looking for books connected with the Polish martyr. The French are also waiting for the canonization which will make the cult possible for them.

Whereas, the cult is flourishing in Poland, especially in places connected with blessed Fr. Jerzy. First of all, at the grave of the martyr in the parish of St. Stanisław Kostka in Warsaw. Over 20 million people from all over the world have arrived there so far. Let’s remind that among them there were: pope John Paul II (during his third pilgrimage to Homeland, in 1987) and (in 2002) cardinal Joseph Ratzinger , the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Faith at that time. After years, this cardinal, as pope Benedict XVI signed a decree about martyrdom of Fr. Popiełuszko and, in this way, made a decision about his beatification.

In Warsaw, near the grave of the martyr, there is also a multimedia museum devoted to his life and work.

Not for a long time, has there also been a new museum – in Górsko, near the Youth Education Centre named Fr. J. Popiełuszko, on the route from Bydgoszcz to Warsaw, that is, exactly in the place of kidnapping Fr. Popiełuszko. The modern museum is full of rich essence and form. Because thanks to new technologies, tablets and various computer presentations, the small space was sufficient for the ‘whole life’ of Fr. Jerzego. As a custodian of the museum – Fr. Paweł Nowogórski says, pilgrims from all over the world arrive here; recently there has been a group from Ukraine, earlier from Moldavia, Italy, Germany. – It happens that leaving this museum, somebody decides to change his life and wants to return to the Church – says Fr. Nowogórski. And this is the biggest success.

There are still so many people who pray through the intercession of blessed Fr. Popiełuszko. For, as cardinal Kazimierz Nycz emphasizes, Fr. Jerzy is an excellent patron for our times, and the premise of his life: ‘Win the evil with the good’ shows that he is also a guard of the border between the good and the evil.

The fact that it is so and that the memory about Fr. Jerzy is still alive also in France moved with the ending of the canonization process, is proved by Fr. Prof. Naumowicz, who, during the process, had an occasion to observe what was happening around the priest. – For me spirituality of Fr. Popiełuszko is even of the main issues of preparation of the French for the World Youth Days in Cracow next year, and a very large group of pilgrims, the second after the Italian one in number, is going to arrive in Poland from France – he says.

Why is this canonization awaited so much?

Because since then blessed Fr. Jerzy, worshipped in Poland till now, will have become the saint of the universal Church.

AA

„Niedziela” 37/2015

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