Cardinal Wyszynski, Poland’s ‘Primate of the Millennium,’ to be beatified in September

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński with Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, the future St. John Paul II. Photo courtesy of Adam Bujak/Biały Kruk.

CNA Staff, Apr 23, 2021 / 06:13 am (CNA).

The beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the former Primate of Poland who heroically resisted communism, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 12.

Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz announced April 23 that the beatification ceremony would be held in the Polish capital, Warsaw, at noon local time.

Nycz, the archbishop of Warsaw, said that Wyszyński would be beatified alongside Sr. Róża Maria Czacka, a Polish nun who died in 1961 after a lifetime of service to blind people.

“During the September ceremony, Pope Francis will be represented by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who will promulgate the decree of beatification,” he said in a statement.

Nycz announced last April that Wyszyński’s beatification, originally scheduled for June 7, 2020, in Warsaw’s Piłsudski Square, had been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus crisis.

“A pandemic threatening the health and life of people makes it impossible to prepare and carry out this ceremony,” he said at the time. “The first priority must be concern for human safety.”

Wyszyński is credited with helping to preserve and strengthen Christianity in Poland despite the communist regime’s persecution from 1945 onwards.

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.

In 1953, Wyszyński was placed under house arrest by Communist authorities for three years for refusing to punish priests active in the Polish resistance against the Communist regime.

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.

Wyszyński died on May 28, 1981, 15 days after Pope John Paul II was shot in an assassination attempt. 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.”

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.

The Polish parliament declared 2021 the Year of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, in anticipation of his beatification.

In his statement on Friday, Nycz said: “The organizing committee is resuming its work and will soon provide further details regarding the organization of the beatification ceremony.”

“I express my gratitude to the Holy Father, Francis, for setting the date of the beatification. I ask all the faithful to pray for the blessed fruits of the beatification of the Servants of God, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Sr. Róża Maria Czacka.”

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