Polish Catholics mark 100 days to beatification of Cardinal Wyszynski

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Instytut Prymasowski.

Polish Catholics are beginning a 100-day countdown to the beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the former Primate of Poland who heroically resisted communism.

Wyszyński will be beatified in the Polish capital, Warsaw, on Sept. 12, alongside Sr. Róża Maria Czacka, a nun who died in 1961 after a lifetime of service to blind people.

Michalina Jankowska, director of the Primate Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Institute, invited Catholics to raise awareness of the beatification ceremony.

“I encourage you to use the media to share quotes from Cardinal Wyszyński and Mother Czacka, your thoughts about them, and different initiatives,” she said.

“Everyone can join the action by posting entries, short videos, and photos on social media. And to link all these contents, we are giving the hashtag #Beatyfikacja [#Beatification].”

In the run-up to the ceremony, events are being held across Poland, a country of almost 38 million people bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

The events include competitions for children inspired by the cardinal who helped to preserve and strengthen Christianity in Poland under communism.

There are also websites dedicated to the Polish Primate’s beatification, including prymaswyszynski.pl, created by the Archdiocese of Warsaw, and a new web portal unveiled by Polskie Radio, the national public service radio broadcaster.

There is even a new strategy game, designed by Weronika and Kamil Kreczko, called Non Possumus.

The game’s name refers to Wyszyński’s 1953 letter to Poland’s communist leader Bolesław Bierut in which he refused to subordinate the Church to the authorities, declaring “Non possumus!” (We cannot).

That year, Wyszyński was imprisoned and later placed under house arrest, regaining his freedom in 1956.

He is known as the “Primate of the Millennium” because as Primate of Poland he oversaw a nine-year program of preparation culminating in a nationwide celebration of the millennium of Poland’s baptism in 1966.

He also helped to secure the approval of Karol Wojtyła as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, which ultimately led to Wojtyła’s election as Pope John Paul II in 1978.

The Vatican announced the approval of a miracle attributed to Wyszyński’s intercession last October.

The miracle involved the healing of a 19-year-old woman from thyroid cancer in 1989. After the young woman received the incurable diagnosis, a group of Polish nuns began praying for her healing through the intercession of Wyszyński, who died of abdominal cancer in 1981.

Wyszyński died 15 days after Pope John Paul II was shot in an assassination attempt in 1981.

Unable to attend the cardinal’s funeral, John Paul II wrote in a letter to the people of Poland, “Meditate particularly on the figure of the unforgettable primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński of venerated memory, his person, his teaching, his role in such a difficult period of our history.”

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The Polish parliament has declared 2021 the Year of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.

In its resolution, the Sejm, or lower house of parliament, said: “In his priestly activity, the Primate of the Millennium paid attention to man’s inherent dignity, the source of all his rights.”

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