Marians' Founder Could Be Raised to the Honors of the Altar
By Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC (Dec 3, 2015)
In 2007, a little more than 300 years after his death, Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski, the Marians' Founder, was declared by the Church to be "blessed," just one step away from "saint."
Why did it take so long? The main reason involves the history of Poland, which has endured countless wars, plagues, and persecution. (It actually disappeared off the map for a time.) The Polish people suffered at the hands of tsars, Nazis, and Communists. All this made the work of gathering documents on the sanctity of the life of Fr. Stanislaus difficult, if not impossible, for a time.
How did the beatification come to be? Our congregation spent years making the case to the Holy See. His writings were analyzed to show that he hadn't written anything contrary to the teachings of the Church. We had to prove he had lived a virtuous life to a heroic degree. Finally, it needed to be determined a miracle had taken place through his intercession. An amazing miracle was approved: A pregnant woman in Poland found that the heartbeat of her child had stopped. A family member familiar with Fr. Stanislaus urged the family to pray a novena to ask his intercession. Although it seemed to be too late, the family prayed, the heart started beating again, and the child's development resumed. After much investigation, the Vatican declared it a "reanimation" and accepted it as a miracle, which led to Fr. Stanislaus's beatification. The little boy was born without any problems, and he is growing up in a normal way.
Now, eight years after the beatification, we are praying that another healing that we believe took place through his intercession will lead to his canonization.
I was recently at Blessed Stanislaus' tomb in Poland. Let me tell you a little bit about where things stand:
In the annals of the congregation founded, Blessed Stanislaus would be our first saint. In addition to Blessed Stanislaus, we have three blessed.)
To be declared a saint is a long process. In Blessed Stanislaus' case, an investigation took place on the diocesan level in which medical documents were gathered, and witnesses and doctors were interviewed by other doctors and specialists. All of the documents were then brought to Rome and submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The documentation was put together in book form in what's called a "Positio."
How the process works is that a group of medical doctors meets at the Vatican to discuss and pass their judgment on the healing. We may be able to make an announcement about their findings by the end of the year. If they accept the presumed miracle, the matter goes before a team of theologians. If they vote positively, everything gets passed on to a group of cardinals who meet in a consistory. If they accept everything, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints would present everything to the Holy Father, and if he signs the documents, a date would then be set for the canonization.
It's been exciting for me to have been living in Rome for the last 10 years because I have an inside view on how all this takes place. I was able to participate in the preparations for Blessed Stanislaus' beatification. I have witnessed the slow and painstaking work that is needed to get to the next step. Rightfully so, the Church takes great care to verify each step along the way before she can confidently say God wants someone to be declared a saint.
I ask each of you to pray that, if it is God's will, the Marians' Founder be declared a saint. "Saint Stanislaus Papczynski." That has a nice ring to it!
PRAYER FOR CANONIZATION OF BL. STANISLAUS PAPCZYŃSKI
Most holy and undivided Trinity, You choose to make Your home in the hearts of Your faithful servants, and, after their death, to reward their merits with the glory of heaven. Bring it about, we ask, that Your servant, Bl. Stanislaus, who, enraptured by the mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, progressed with such fidelity and so sacrificially towards personal sanctity, and who made every effort to introduce and preserve the Kingdom of God in the hearts of his neighbors, be added by the Church without delay to the company of the Saints. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.