Photo: Felix Carroll

Polish pilgrims flocked to Lichen, Poland, in 2007 for the beatification of a man whom Pope Benedict XVI singled out at the time as "a father of the poor."

The Canonization is Set

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Father Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczynski (1631-1701). He's the man the Marians of the Immaculate Conception refer to as "Father Founder."

March 15, 2016 — Pope Francis today announced the canonization date for the Founder of the Marian Fathers. Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczyński (1631-1701) will be declared a saint on June 5, in St. Peter's Square.

"The Congregation has waited centuries for this moment," said Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, the Marians' vicar general, based in Rome. "In the course of our history, there are those who doubted the sanctity of our Founder. Now, the moment has finally arrived, and our Lord has left no doubt as to the sanctity of the life of the Founder through the tremendous miracle attributed to his intercession and the approvals given to this miracle throughout the process.

"We have a powerful intercessor in our Founder," said Fr. Joe. "He calls us to live our charism with authenticity, simplicity, and holiness. May we follow his example by the way that we live our lives. I am sure that Heaven rejoices over this announcement today!"

"It is a surely a great day for the Marians in our history," said Br. Andrew Maczynski, MIC, vice-postulator in North America and Asia for the Marian Causes of Canonization. "We've been waiting 315 years for this moment."

The date was announced during the Public Ordinary Consistory for the Canonization of Blesseds, presided over by Pope Francis on Tuesday morning.

Blessed Stanislaus — a Polish firebrand, a prolific writer who urged the world to contemplate God's mercy and to turn to Mary Immaculate for her gracious guidance and efficacious care — will be canonized along with Blessed Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad of Sweden. The canonizations of three others were also announced. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized on Sept. 4. Blessed José Gabriel del Rosario of Argentina will be canonized on Oct. 16, along with Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río of Mexico.

Spreading Devotion to the Founder
Marian priests and brothers from throughout the world are expected to attend the canonization. In the meantime, the Congregation is in the midst of a Congregation-wide year dedicated to the Founder's life and virtues. Translations of his writings in various languages are underway, including in English.

"Poland, for example, already has published all the Founder's works translated from Latin, and is, therefore, in a privileged situation," said the Marians' Superior General Fr. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC. "In Brazil, on the other hand, this work is still ahead of our confreres. The Baroque Latin used by Fr. Founder presents many challenges to the translators.

"As part of preparations for the canonization, the confreres in various provinces endeavor to popularize his person and message," Fr. Andrzej continued. "Naturally, we will pay special attention to the thanksgiving events at our parishes and centers that we run worldwide, since it would be difficult for many of our confreres and friends to come to Rome from the remote parts of the world."

Acknowledging the challenge of spreading devotion to the Founder beyond Poland and beyond the Marians themselves, Fr. Andrzej has instructed his confreres to focus first on the bare — and extraordinary — facts of the Founder's life.

"I think that 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," Fr. Andrzej said. "He proved a colorful and extremely interesting figure, especially if we consider his life experiences. He suffered trials and adversities in every stage of life. In his childhood, he struggled to learn the alphabet, and then — following prayers — he suddenly became a gifted child, intellectually ahead of the others.

"He had health problems and fell seriously ill in Lviv, where it seemed he would die of that infectious disease," Fr. Andrzej continued. "He had problems while at the Piarist Order, because it was undergoing a transformation at that time. He had problems with leaving the Piarists and founding the Marian community. Finally, he had difficulties obtaining the Holy See's approval for his new Order. 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, of only one has the light of faith."

Living in a war-torn time period, Blessed Stanislaus witnessed thousands of casualties on battlefields and also from dreaded plagues. He, himself, accompanied Polish troops as a chaplain in battles against Turkey in Ukraine in 1674. He was deeply saddened to observe how many people died with no time to prepare to meet their Maker.

After he experienced visions of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, he was moved to engage in, and advocate for, prayer and penance on their behalf. Offering their lives for the Holy Souls in Purgatory remains one of the Marians' charisms, in addition to spreading devotion to Mary as the Immaculate Conception, operating publishing apostolates, and assisting where the need is greatest, including in parishes, shrines, and missions.

Blessed Stanislaus' crowning achievement came in 1673 when, after many hardships and setbacks, he founded the Marians, the Church's first men's religious order dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

A Proven Intercessor
The canonization announcement follows on the heals of the Vatican's approval in January of the miracle attributed to Blessed Stanislaus' intercession. It involved the healing of a 20-year-old woman in Poland shortly after Blessed Stanislaus' beatification in 2007.

"Both miracles, leading to beatification and canonization, are similar in content," said Fr. Andrzej. "In both cases, we dealt with an illness or a situation in which people found themselves in or near death. In the first case, we have medical confirmation that the fetus wasn't alive, yet following prayers, the amazed doctor stated — despite his inability to believe it — that the fetus had been brought back to life.

"In the second case," Fr. Andrzej continued, "we have a 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. She has been completely healed, although this cannot be explained scientifically. 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. Naturally, people prayed and hoped that God would perform a miracle. This hopeless situation aroused a strong faith that the Lord God can bring from death to life."

For more information on Blessed Stanislaus, visit stanislawpapczynski.org.

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Elizabeth, SC - Mar 15, 2016

I am so happy that Blessed Stanislaus will soon be canonized a Saint.

Cathy - Mar 15, 2016

Gods abundant blessings to the Marian Fathers

Rosemary - Mar 15, 2016

I am so pleased to hear today that Blessed Stanialaus will be St. Stanislaus.I have prayed to him for many years and I firmly believe that my prayers have been answered,due to his intercession.

Stanisław - Mar 16, 2016

Let's pray the Novena (for android devices):

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=asia.marians.novenapapczynski

Holly - Mar 22, 2016

How wonderful for the Polish people + the world!

Katie - Apr 1, 2016

PRAISE BE TO GOD!

Marian Knight - Apr 2, 2016

What a wonderful testimony of a soul that truly loves Jesus and Mary. Happy that there is another Polish Saint , after Pope John Paul 2. The Poles have suffered much for their Faith over the centuries . In the 20th Century they suffered under the Nazis and Communist .100s of 1000s were martyred and millions suffered terrible hardships, but in the end it was the Immaculate Heart , and Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy that Triumphed. Poland led the fall of Communism in Europe with Pope Paul 2 , Ronald Reagan and Lech Walesa and the brave Polish people

Emelita Sales - Apr 2, 2016

This is wonderful!!! May God bless St. Stanislaus. Let us continue to pray fervently. May our faith increase everyday.

Elizabeth- Florida - Apr 3, 2016

Very Happy for Father Stanislaus- I know he helped me a time or two after praying!

M. Catherine, VA - Apr 26, 2016

Blessed Stanislaus has worked great things in our lives, particularly in desperate times. I wrote a letter to explain this and I am a strong advocate of his canonization. Praise God that it is finally here!

Klp - May 30, 2016

Congratulations on the coming canonization of Blessed Stanislaus! St Stanislaus Papczynski, thank you for having interceded for my son, I now humbly ask you to please intercede for Alex C's back pain. Thank you

Klp - Jun 1, 2016

Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski,
Congratulations on your sainhood! Please pray for Alex C's back pain and my son's physical and mental health! Thank you!

Michael - Jun 1, 2016

Father Stanislaus,

I ask you this Sunday, the day of your canonization for these special actual graces, hoping for another to join me in the "amen"

1) For the release of all the poor souls in purgatory
2) For PJ- that he will never suffer or be tempted with deep depression again- after this day- but instead be known the rest of his life for his christian joy.
3) For my mother, Patricia, whom I love dearly- for her physical, mental and spiritual health as she turns 80 and beyond.
4) For my heart that it be forever merciful, like The Father
5) And for temporal needs we have to never be lacking.
6) That we may always have holy and faithful friends
7) For protection of every kind: spiritual, emotional, financial, legal, physical,and for mercy to spread through the world
8) Finally, that the Shrine of Divine Mercy will always be specially shielded from the darts of our salvation's enemy.

God bless Saint Stanislaus!!!
May Mary's Immaculate Conception be our health and protection!!

Juliana, CA - Jun 2, 2016

Bl. Stanislaus, I beg you that my brother embrace the Catholic faith he was baptized and confirmed in and that his children be baptized.
Also, for my godchildren who do not know their faith and therefore do not embrace it.
That Elizabeth be strengthened and healed emotionally and mentally.

Juliana, CA - Jun 2, 2016

Also for eyesight to be restored to Fr. S.and for God's blessing on his work. For my husband's healing to continue well.
Glory to God for Blessed Stanislaus.

Klp - Jun 2, 2016

Congratulations, future Saint Stanislaus Papczynski! Please intercede for us sinners. Please pray for Alex C's back pain, my children's physical and mental health and their father's mental and physical well-being. Amen!

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Klp - Jun 3, 2016

Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski,
Only two more days and you will be officially declared a saint. Please implore the Lord to have mercy on this world and sinners. Please intercede for Alex C's back pain and continue to watch over my children whose own father has been too sick to take care of them. Thank you!

Klp - Jun 4, 2016

Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski,
Congratulations! Tomorrow you will be offcially declared a saint! Please pray for My children's good physical, mental and physical health and the Healing of Alex C's back pain! Thank you!

Klp - Jun 5, 2016

Congratulations! St Stanislaus Papczynski!
On this great day, intercede for this world, for my country, for my broken family, for the complete Healing of my son François's wart infection and the complication resulting from the operation, for the Healing of Alex C's back pain, for my daughter to have a healthy baby! Thank you for your intercession!