Polish anti-communist church leader to be beatified

The late Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, a prominent churchman who defended the country’s religious freedom under communism, will be beatified in Warsaw on June 7, 2020, one of Poland’s top clerics announced on Monday.

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, pictured in 1966

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, pictured in 1966Photo: nac.gov.pl

The ceremony will be carried out by papal envoy Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Polish Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz was quoted by state news agency PAP as saying.

A Vatican statement earlier this month said the pope had approved a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to Wyszyński’s intercession, meaning he will be beatified. In the Catholic Church, beatification is one stage short of being declared a saint.

Wyszyński was known for his resistance to Nazism and communism and for his efforts to protect the Catholic Church when Poland was under communist rule. Between 1953 and 1956 he was imprisoned by the communists.

Wyszyński is said to have told Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, a fellow Pole, during a 1978 conclave in which the latter was elected Pope John Paul II: „If they elect you, do not refuse it.”

After his inauguration mass, the newly elected Pope John Paul II said that there would have been „no Polish pope” without Wyszyński’s „faith, heroic hope and limitless confidence in the Mother of God.”

Born in 1901, Wyszyński was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on his 24th birthday. In 1946, he was appointed Bishop of Lublin and two years later was named Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw, thus becoming the Primate of Poland.

He died of cancer on May 28, 1981, at the age of 79.

(jh/pk)

Source: PAP

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