With the canonization of Marian founder Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski taking place this Sunday (June 5), it’s worth looking at his life and legacy to discern what lessons we should learn from him and how his charity continues to the present day. We need to remember three things in particular: He loved Our Lady; he lived a life of charity; and he is associated with miracles, performed not only during his lifetime, but continuing today!
A profound love for Our Lady and her Immaculate Conception
In a recent homily on Blessed Stanislaus’ feast day at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, provincial superior for the Marian Fathers in the United States and Argentina, said that Blessed Stanislaus loved Our Lady because of what God had done for her and, through her role as Mother of God, what God had done for him. Blessed Stanislaus also had a deep love for Mary’s Immaculate Conception because that mystery points us to another reality, Fr. Kaz continued. He explained that just as Mary was preserved from original sin and shared in the fullness of the life of God, we are all called to participate in the fullness of God. “This is the profound gift of the new creation that God offers us, and it is seen in its fullness in Mary, the Immaculate Conception.”
During his life on earth, Blessed Stanislaus was an evangelist for to the poor and, much like Pope Francis today, he was concerned for the needs of those on the margins of society. One of the societal ills he saw amongst his contemporaries was a dependence on alcohol; in response, he preached sobriety. Father Kaz gave another example of the soon-to-be-saint’s charity Blessed Stanislaus witnessed soldiers dying and for whom no one was praying for them, so he began to pray for them and with them.
But his prayers and works were not just for the living. During his earthly life, Blessed Stanislaus was given special insight intoabout the suffering of the souls in Purgatory, occasionally even by receiving visions of the Holy Souls, and began to pray for them, too. He preached to others about the necessity of interceding and praying for the Holy Souls.
Miracles and graces received
With any saint, you will have associated miracles, Fr. Kaz said, and during Blessed Stanislaus’ lifetime, there were many stories of healings and miracles, and such as raising children from the dead. And he still intercedes for us today!
In 2001, a miracle occurred through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus. A woman in Poland was pregnant, but her doctors told her that the child in her womb had no heartbeat and was dead. The woman’s cousin began praying to Blessed Stanislaus, and on the eighth day of the novena, the baby’s heartbeat was heard again. The baby was raised from the dead in the womb! Later that year, a healthy baby boy was born.
Another miracle happened shortly after Blessed Stanislaus’ beatification in 2007, when a 20-year old woman suffered a life-threatening illness that affected her lungs and rendered her comatose. She had lost 90 percent of her lung capacity, so her brain did not receive oxygen, but when her family offered prayers to God through Blessed Stanislaus, he interceded, and she was healed. In fact, she was healed so completely that she was able to get married two months later.
We can continue to ask Blessed (soon-to-be-St.) Stanislaus Papczynski to intercede for us today, to bring about miracles and shower us with special graces in our own lives and sufferings and in the lives of our loved ones.
PRAYER FOR A SPECIAL GRACE through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski
God, our Father, Who in Your unfathomable Providence gave us in Blessed Stanislaus a successful intercessor before Your throne, grant me (us) through his intercession the grace …, for which I beg (we beg) You. Please also grant that in accord with his example I (we) may faithfully fulfill Your most holy will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father … Hail Mary …
Glory be to the Father …
Notice: It is recommended that this prayer, recited for a particular intention, be complemented by Confession and Holy Communion.