Rome, September 20, 2023
Prot. n. 186/2023
We celebrate the memorial of our Martyrs from Rosica every year on June 12. The 108 martyrs of the Second World War were beatified by Saint John Paul Il in Warsaw on June 13, 1999. Since that is the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, the memorial of the martyrs is celebrated each year on June 12th . The celebration for us has the rank of an obligatory memorial. Till now, we have had to celebrate it in a rather generic way since most of the texts come from the Common of several manyrs, and the second reading in the Office of Readings was common for all 108 martyrs. It was an excerpt from the bull (no 13) Incartantionis misterium announcing the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
However now, I am happy to announce another grace of our 350th Jubilee! On July 6th of this year, we received a Decree from the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments which approves ours and our own, the Second Reading from the Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours, in Italian and Polish, in honor of our confreres in the Marian vocation: Blesseds Antony Leszczewicz and George Kaszyra, priests, and their companions, martyrs. In the Collect approved for us, which comes from the Common of several martyrs and is common to the 108 martyrs, Blessed Antony and George are listed as the first of the group of martyrs. The same criteria will apply to the translations of the memorial in other languages which we should now begin to undertake in the various jurisdictions.
The approved text includes our own title of the memorial, the date which is common for all 108 martyrs (12 June), a brief biography of each of our two martyrs and a note that they were beatified together with the above-mentioned martyrs; then our own second reading from the Liturgy of the Hours, the responsory common for the whole group of martyrs and the collect prayer.
The second reading is taken from a spiritual conference which was given by Blessed George Kaszyra, MIC. It can be found in our General Archives, in a collection of conferences which were given in our International Roman College. The Blessed’s conference is at number 12 and was dated January 22, 1931. (Conciones, 1931.01.22, Collegium Romanum, No. 12).
The subtitle of the second reading speaks of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the model and Queen of the martyrs. Blessed George compares the original sin, which was voluntarily committed, with the reparation the work of our redemption, which was voluntarily undertaken by Christ. We must voluntarily open our hearts to the gift of our redemption. Our Lady voluntarily accepted the gift of her motherhood which was proposed to her by the angel. The Angel did not give her an order, he waited for her consent.
Blessed George describes how Mary is united to her Redeemer. She only wishes to live for Him and to work for the cause that God will accomplish in the world, our salvation, She strives with all of her might to cooperate in the work of our salvation, Mary participates in this work in a sacrificial way from the moment of the incarnation of the Word of God until His death on Calvary. She is inseparably united with her Son during His earthly life and especially during His martyrdom on the cross. She collaborates with His work and doesn’t allow herself to become frightened by the difficult moments of His life as He undertakes our redemption.
Mary goes up to Calvary with Jesus and offers Him back to the Father. At the foot of the Cross, she remains united with Him as He dies, never drawing back, even for a moment, from His sacrifice.
Blessed George reflects that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ. Mary doesn’t wish to see her Son’s blood poured out in vain. She wants to see the salvation of all of her children. She wants to assist us to grow in our spiritual lives. Let us be grateful that we are all under her protection. She embraces us all, including those who have lost the gift of sanctifying grace. She is the advocate for everyone.
Our Blessed confreres encourage us to seek the intercession of Our Lady each day, now and at the hour of our deaths. No doubt, they did the same as they bravely gave their lives for Christ and the Church. Let us ask for the conversion of all of God’s children.
The second reading is a profound reflection on the vocation of each of us. It is worth contemplating. We are called to give our lives freely to Christ and to fulfill His will. “Behold, I come to do your will” (Heb. 10:9). Our Spiritual Mother and Patroness will always intercede for us. She only wishes to draw us closer to her Beloved Son. She asks us to love Him, that is all that matters. ‘ ‘Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).
Let us thank God for this grace which we received during the Jubilee! We can now undertake the translations into our other languages so that they can be approved by the Holy See. May we remain faithfully on the path of our salvation that our Founder, St. Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary, the Renovator, Blessed George and our Martyrs from Rosica, Blessed Antony and George trod till the end. May Our Lady help us to remain united with Christ throughout our lives, all the way to Calvary.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers!
Sincerely yours in Christ
Fr. Joseph G. Roesch, MIC