May 28 we commemorate the 40 anniversary of the death of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski.
In the words of Pope St. John Paul II uttered with genuine emotion during his first Papal audience with Polish pilgrims in Rome Oct. 23, 1978: " there would be no Pope from Poland, who today full of fear of God and divine trust begins this new Pontificate if not for your faith which did not back away from imprisonment and suffering, if not your heroic hope and your complete entrustment in the Mother of the Church". Born in Zuzela near Lomza, Poland, August 3, 1901-Stefan Wyszynski was ordained a priest August 3, 1924 despite severe lung disease. During WWII-Fr. Stefan Wyszynski, at that time chaplain of the Laski center for the Blind est. by Mother Roza Czacka-also rendered pastoral care over Warsaw 1944 Uprising soldiers. He served as Bishop of Lublin (1946-48) and Archbishop of Warsaw and Gniezno (1948-1981). A Cardinal since 1953-he assumed the title Primate of Poland. Communist first secretary Bieruts' decree re State staffing of dioceses in Poland induced a firm reply from Poland's Bishops which ended in these words: "Matters of God we are not permitted to sacrifice on the table of Caesar. Non Possumus". Arrested by Soviet order in Sept. 1953-taken by force against his will from the Warsaw Archbishops' residence-the Polish Primate was held in solitary confinement at 4 remote locations: Rywald, Lidzbark, Prudnik and Komancza in Bieszczady Mts. In prison Card. Wyszynski wrote the Jasna Gora Pledges of the Nation-a epochal program of moral reform for Poland. Released in 1956-the Primate prepared a 9 year novena and led Poland at its Millennial celebrations in 1966. His impeccable courageous leadership as "interrex of Poland" navigated its faithful safely amidst Communism's rising waters of atheism and decay. Pope Francis decided that his beatification ceremony will take place this Fall in Warsaw.
Photos display Cardinal Wyszynski with Sacred Heart triptych gift designated for PRCUA Centennial, the Cardinal with Chicago Archbishop Card. Meyer, Chicago delegation with Card. Wyszynski in Archbishop's Residence-Warsaw 1965, 1966 Polish Millennial celebrations in Chicago-Card. Rubin at lectern-vacant chair for absent Card. Wyszynski whom Communist officials refused his passport for travel to US. Portrait of Poland's Primate