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The Marians' General Superior, the Very Rev. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC, is leading the Congregation's plans for the June 5 canonization of the Marians' Founder.

Getting to Know the Marians' Founder

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The Founder of the Marian Fathers, Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczyński (1631-1701), will be declared a saint on June 5, in Rome. In January 2016, Pope Francis approved a miracle received through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus, which opens the way for the canonization. In the following interview, Fr. Łukasz Wiśniewski, MIC, discusses the canonization miracle with the Very Rev. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC, general superior of the Congregation of Marian Fathers.

What can we say about the miracle?

Interestingly, the miracles leading to his beatification and canonization are similar. Both deal with situations in which people found themselves near death or dead. In the first case, we have medical confirmation that the fetus wasn't alive, yet following prayers, the amazed doctor stated ... that the fetus had been brought back to life. In the second case, we have a seemingly hopeless situation that arose due to complications, pneumonia, respiratory failure, and septic shock. After three weeks of treatment, the doctor pronounced that — short of a miracle from Heaven — the patient would die. Due to prayers, a few days later, her health began to improve, and today there is no trace of the past illness. ... In both cases, we see the work of God who brings back life from death and does it gratuitously every time. This is reminiscent of the Immaculate Conception, because the Mother of God also received that gift without merit.

What does Blessed Stanislaus have to say to our generation?

In the case of people so far removed from us in time as Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński is, his "speaking" to us depends — among other things — on how well we know his biography. He proved a colorful and extremely interesting figure. ... He suffered trials and adversities in every stage of life. ... It would seem that this man could tell our modern times that it is worth believing despite the greatest adversities and illnesses; that it is worth dedicating one's life to God even if all signs on earth and in Heaven say that He has forgotten us. The cross does not mean resignation, but it can mean God's greatest love and closeness; that God' plans for that person are greater than for the others. It is possible to find happiness in toil, if only one has the light of faith.

In what manner does the Founder inspire the Marians around the world today?

In the wake of the beatification of 2007, the person and legacy of the Founder is being rediscovered in our Congregation. I'll venture to say that the Lord God reminds us of that figure through these events. First, He tells us about Papczyński's saintly life; way of faith, love, and dedication; living out his religious vows. Secondly, He tells us to read anew Papczyński's founding charism. ... In addition, we hold a reflection on the charism of our Congregation and its more precise implementation to life. Also, we make all possible efforts to ensure that the charism of the community founded by Blessed Stanislaus may find proper manifestation in our works. Therefore, in addition to our customary works, as it were, such as running a parish, a mission, retreats, or religious education, we also run centers of Marian formation, Marian and Divine Mercy shrines, and hospices. Recently, the Polish Province established in Licheń a center of [reproductive and gynecological healthcare].

Visit stanislawpapczynski.org to learn more about the Marians' Founder.

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