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by Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC

Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC,

is the Vicar General of the Marian Fathers of the

Immaculate Conception. He lives in Rome.





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Fr. Joe’s message

Why did it take so long? The main reason involves

the history of Poland, which has endured countless

wars, plagues, and persecution. (It actually disap-

peared off the map for a time.) The Polish people suf-

fered at the hands of tsars, Nazis, and Communists.

All this made the work of gathering documents on

the sanctity of the life of Fr. Stanislaus difficult, if not

impossible, for a time.

How did the beatification come to be? Our congre-

gation spent years making the case to the Holy See.

His writings

were analyzed to show that he hadn’t

written anything contrary to the teachings of the

Church. We had to prove he had lived a virtuous

life to a heroic degree. Finally, it needed to be deter-

mined a miracle had taken place through his interces-

sion. An amazing

miracle was approved

: A pregnant

woman in Poland found that the heartbeat of her

child had stopped. A family member familiar with Fr.

Stanislaus urged the family to pray a


to ask

his intercession. Although it seemed to be too late, the

family prayed, the heart started beating again, and

the child’s development resumed. After much inves-

tigation, the Vatican declared it a “reanimation” and

accepted it as a miracle, which led to Fr. Stanislaus’s

beatification. The little boy was born without any

problems, and he is growing up in a normal way.

Now, eight years after the beatification, we are

praying that

another healing

that we believe took

place through his intercession will lead to his canon-

ization. (In the annals of the congregation he founded,

Blessed Stanislaus would be our first saint. In addition

to Blessed Stanislaus, we have three blesseds.)

To be declared a saint is a long process. In Blessed

Stanislaus’ case, an investigation took place on the dioc-

esan level in which medical documents were gathered,

and witnesses and doctors were interviewed by other

doctors and specialists. All of the documents were then

brought to Rome and submitted to the Congregation for

the Causes of Saints. The documentation was put togeth-

er in book form in what's called a “Positio.” How the

process works is that a group of medical doctors meets

at the Vatican to discuss and pass their judgment on the

healing. We may be able to make an announcement

about their findings by the end of the year or by spring. If

they accept the presumed miracle, the matter goes before

a team of theologians. If they vote positively, everything

gets passed on to a group of cardinals who meet in a con-

sistory. If they accept everything, the Cardinal Prefect of

the Congregation for the Causes of Saints would present

everything to the Holy Father, and if he signs the docu-

ments, a date would then be set for the canonization.

It’s been exciting for me to have been living in Rome

for the last 10 years because I have an inside view on

how all this takes place. I was able to participate in the

preparations for Blessed Stanislaus’ beatification. I have

witnessed the slow and painstaking work that is needed

to get to the next step. Rightfully so, the Church takes

great care to verify each step along the

way before she can confidently say God

wants someone to be declared a saint.

I ask each of you to pray

that, if it

is God’s will, the Marians’ Founder

be declared a saint. “Saint Stanislaus

Papczynski.” That has a nice ring to it!

Check out page 26

for the latest

reports from Marian Helpers on

graces received through the inter-

cession of Blessed Stanislaus.


n 2007, a little more than 300 years after his death,

Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski,

the Marians’ Founder, was

declared by the Church to be “blessed,”

just one

step away from “saint.”