Photo: Felix Carroll
Fellow Poles celebrate their native son, Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, at his beatification on Sept. 16, 2007, in Lichen, Poland.
From One Timely Beatification to Another
By Fr. Andy Davy, MIC (May 17, 2011)
On May 18, the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the birthday and liturgical memorial of its founder, Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski.
Blessed Stanislaus was born on May 18, 1631 in the small village of Podegrodzie, in southern Poland. He died on Sept. 17, 1701. The Marians had waited 306 years for Fr. Stanislaus to be beatified, which finally happened on Sept. 16, 2007, in Lichen, Poland.
As we have experienced the rapid process of beatification for Blessed John Paul II, we know that God does not have to wait in raising someone to the honors of the altar. But why, after 306 years, did God choose to raise Blessed Stanislaus to the honors of the altar in our day and age? Our former Superior General, Fr. Jan Rokosz MIC, once pointed to the fact that the answer to this question has something to do with Divine Mercy.
Blessed Stanislaus was a man wholly devoted to spreading devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was so devoted to defending this mystery of the Immaculate Conception that he promised to defend this truth "even at the cost of my life."
The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate were founded by Blessed Stanislaus principally to promote the truth of Mary's Immaculate Conception. And what is this mystery of the Immaculate Conception that the Marians are called to proclaim? It is the mystery of Divine Mercy, a mystery that God is so "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4) that He has poured out on Mary an extraordinary grace that was completely unmerited. Mary could not have done anything to earn this grace of being completely free from all stain of sin, for this grace was given to her in the first moment of her existence! God just pours out this grace simply because He desires it.
In the message of Divine Mercy given to St. Faustina — a message promoted by the Marians beginning in 1941 — God speaks about pouring out unprecedented graces freely upon all mankind. Sometimes, though, we might think that God can't be that generous. The truth of the Immaculate Conception says otherwise: God has given us a precedent in Mary that He can and will pour out unimaginable graces upon us. Let us respond to this ocean tide of grace with the words "Jesus I trust in You."
Blessed Stanislaus proclaimed with boldness the truth of Mary's Immaculate Conception, and in doing so proclaimed that God is total generosity and mercy ... more than we can ever imagine. Is it not fitting that God has waited until now, during this time when the message of Divine Mercy is piercing many hearts, to raise up to the altars a man who proclaimed the trustworthiness of God's radical mercy through his undying love of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, pray for us!
Father Andy Davy, MIC, serves at St. Mary Parish in Plano, Illinois.