San Stanislao di Gesù e Maria Papczyński
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Prot. n. 319/2007

Circular Letter of the Superior General on the Congregation of Marian Fathers’ direct Preparations for the Beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Father Stanislaus Papczyński

Rome, August 27, 2007

Dear Confreres:

The beatification of Father Stanislaus Papczyński is only several days away!  For almost a year, we have been preparing spiritually and organizationally for one of the most important events in the history of our Congregation. We have lived out days of recollection inspired by our Founder’s thoughts; we read his writings and studied the history of his life. We also discerned the charism, by which he lived and which he left to us. We have written articles, made movies, delivered sermons… etc.  We have desired to get to know him better, to love and to imitate him, but we also want to make him known to the entire Church.  Many of our confreres, especially members of the Divine Providence Province, gave themselves wholeheartedly to organizing the celebrations. We want this event to go through efficiently, beautifully, and appropriately; but most of all, we want it to bring fruits, which God Himself intends for us.

In this very special time, I invite all of you: every community and every individual confrere, to unite in communal prayer. I ask each community worldwide to celebrate a Novena for the intention of God’s blessing for the beatification celebration as well as for glorious fruits for the Church, our Congregation and for each one of us. It would be best to celebrate this Novena from September 7 to 15, 2007.  Fr. Janusz Kumala prepared the Novena text.

Saint Augustine wrote: “It may surprise us, why He should ask us to pray, when He knows what we need before we ask Him (…), but wants us rather to exercise our desire through prayers, so that we may be able to receive what He is preparing to give us. This is why Scripture tell us to «Open wide your hearts»; (…). We will receive this great gift, which “no eye has see it”, it has no color, “no ear has heard it” it has no sound,  “ because it has not enter man’s heart”; for truly man’s heart must enter it, (…) the more worthy will be its fruit, the deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire.(…)” [OR: 29 Sunday Ordinary time]

Let our prayer “open wide” our hearts, so that filled with the graces of this event they will be inflamed with love for God and neighbor together with fidelity to our vocation. We include in this Novena a petition for Fr. Mark Garrow’s return to health. In his person we see all our ill confreres, who through suffering, accepted in faith and surrender to God’s will, builds the holiness of the Church and our Congregation.

I wish to inform you, that as a remembrance of the beatification of Father Founder, each Marian will receive, through the hands of the superior of his Province or Vicariate, the Chaplet of the Ten Evangelical Virtues of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

Thanks to the help of the American Province of the B.V.M., Mother of Mercy prayer cards have been prepared -- as mementos of the beatification in all the languages presently used in our Congregation. Images of our Founder in various formats will be made available to everyone in Licheń along with other materials pertaining to his person. Superiors from the different countries will be able to take these materials for all confreres under their jurisdiction and for the faithful who came for the beatification. You may receive from Brother Andrew Mączyński, who expended the greatest energy for the preparation of all these materials, the CD’s containing the electronic files. In this way these materials will be able to be reproduced in each country as needed.

The Polish language materials have been prepared through the efforts of the Divine Providence Province. Particular attention should be given to the publication of all Fr. Papczyński’s writings in the Polish language. For the first time in history all the works of our Founder will be published in a modern language. Another important publication is a collection of the theological and pastoral writings of our Founder entitled “The Man of God.”

Having in mind our lay and consecrated coworkers, as well as the faithful entrusted to our pastoral care, the Marians prepared an appropriate message, which, just like the Novena, will be made available online at in Polish, English, and Portuguese.

As announced earlier our religious houses and parishes may submit petitions to the Postulator General, Fr. Wojciech Skóra, for relics “Ex ossibus.” Individual Marians, as well as Fr. Papczyński’s devotees, may obtain relics “Ex habitu.”

With this letter I include the detailed program of the beatification festivities. I am happy, that many confreres from all over the world announced their participation in the event.  It is edifying to witness those, who had to find substitutes in their parishes in order to take part in this event. Although, for various reasons, making a trip to Licheń is not possible for all, in these days we will be united spiritually.

My brothers, I would like to draw your attention to some important moments of the celebration, other than the very Holy Mass of the Beatification itself. There will be: Matins for consecrated persons at 9:00AM on Sunday presided by H.E. Franc Cardinal Rodé, the Prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life; in the evening of that same day we will have an period of adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in thanksgiving for the beatification, to which we invite all Marians and our lay coworkers. The next day, Monday, on the anniversary of the death of our Founder, a Holy Mass of Thanksgiving for his beatification will be celebrated and presided by H.E. Franc Cardinal Rodé at the Founder’s tomb. I invite all the Marians, whom time and duties allow, to participate in these events.

May Mary Immaculate be with us during these final moments of the immediate preparations for the beatification as well as during the entire celebration. May the atmosphere of true joy and gratitude, which filled her heart and found its expression in her “Magnificat”, be with our undertakings.

Fr. Jan M. Rokosz, M.I.C.
Superior General