Friday 19th April 2019

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Jozef Bilczewski

March 28, 2019 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Jozef Bilczewski was born in Poland as the country regained some of its respect as a cultured people. Chopin’s music spread across Europe and he is famous today for his wonderful sonatas. Madame Curie, who discovered the use of X-rays, was born seven years after Jozef. Ignacy Lukasiewicz invented the kerosene lamp and an oil refinery was built in Poland soon after — the world’s first.
Jozef was born to Franciszek Biba and Anna Kuczmierczyk on April 26, 1860. Jozef was the oldest of nine children born to the peasant parents in Wilamowice in the Diocese of Bielsko Zywiec, which was part of the Diocese of Krakow at the time.
As a young boy, from age eight to twelve, Jozef attended school in Wilamowice, continuing his studies in Wadowice from 1872 until 1880. After he received his diploma for high school, he went to Krakow where he studied for the priesthood.
He attended the Jagiellonian University — one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. This university counted world-famous scientists, Nobel laureates, and a future Pope, Karol Wojtyla, among its students.
Jozef was ordained a priest on July 6, 1884 in Krakow by Albino Cardinal Dunajewski. Two years later he received his doctorate in theology from the University of Vienna.
After that Jozef went to Rome where he continued his studies, delving into dogmatics and archeology at the Gregorian in 1886 and 1887. Then for one year he studied in Paris.
After nearly 25 years of studying, Jozef received his first assignment. He returned to Krakow and became the catechetical assistant at Saints Peter and Paul Church.
In 1890, Jozef successfully completed the testing to become a university professor at the Jagiellonian and he began teaching dogmatic theology at the University of Lviv in what is now part of Ukraine, just east of the Polish border.
He was promoted the very next year, and from 1896 to 1897 he was the dean of the Theological Department in Lviv. He then was elected head of the college in 1900, but was called by Emperor Franz Joseph I on October 30, 1900 to become the next archbishop of the metropolitan see of Leopoli. This was at a time when secular authorities had input into ecclesiastical appointments.
On December 17, 1900, Pope Leo XIII formalized the assignment and Jozef was consecrated on January 21, 1901 as archbishop of Leopoli of the Latin Rite by Jan Cardinal Puzyna, bishop of Krakow.
This assignment proved challenging for many reasons. First of all, it was a very large diocese at the time. In addition, the turn of the century was a complicated era with religious, social, ethnic, and economic difficulties. Jozef well understood the plight of peasants, having come from a poor family. He had a strong work ethic and exemplary confidence in God, so he did well in his position. Most of all, his faith was daily strengthened by his deep prayer life.
On a practical level, he promoted “organic work,” meaning that national powers use their resources to help the working citizens rather than spending them on military conflicts. He began the daunting task of building new churches, having founded more than 300 of them.
Among these is the neo-Gothic style St. Elizabeth Church. Although this stunning church was partly destroyed in the bombings of World War II, it has been restored and it is now the Greek Catholic Church of Saints Olha and Elizabeth.
Jozef also encouraged devotion to Blessed James of Strepar who was a fourteenth-century Franciscan. James was also a bishop and wore his habit after his consecration as he traveled the countryside. Despite his high office, Jozef continued to wear his habit and travel on foot to preach and celebrate the sacraments with his people.
Jozef allowed the Pallottines to serve in his archdiocese and he promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an increase in Eucharistic adoration, and frequent reception of Holy Communion. The practice of receiving daily Holy Communion was also promoted by Pope Pius X.
Jozef’s care for priests became evident when he organized courses for them so they would be better prepared to work among the poor and needy in the archdiocese. In addition, he financed several Catholic societies and supported students. In 1904, because of his initiative, the first Mariological Congress in Poland was held.
As a pastor, Jozef became a wonderful model for his priests. He became widely known for his love of God and neighbor, his charity, humility, industriousness, and pastoral zeal. He lived to “totally sacrifice oneself for the Holy Church.”
As an archbishop, he wrote many letters to both the priests and the laity, addressing problems of faith and morals, as well as confronting the difficulties faced in their culture. These letters also encouraged devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. He well understood the sacred vocation of the priesthood and diligently worked to increase priestly vocations.
He instilled in these priests a great love of Christ in the Eucharist from which they gained their strength. They also were to serve the faithful by making the sacraments more widely available to sick and poor alike.
Archbishop Bilczewski labored always to sanctify his priests so they could sanctify the people. Encouraging a deeper love of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, he urged them to join the Association for Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament and the Association of Aid to Poor Catholic Churches.
His love for the poor was well known. During World War I he helped organize relief workers of Galicia — an area that straddled the border between Poland and Ukraine — because of the food shortages. In 1918, during the Polish-Ukrainian War, Lviv was under siege. Once again, Jozef organized food deliveries to the people. Together with Venerable Andrzej Sheptytsky and the apostolic nuncio, Achille Ratti (who later became Pope Pius XI), he tried to negotiate a truce but failed.
Three times Jozef traveled to Rome for ad limina visits with Popes Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Warsaw College in 1921, the Cross of Valor, and the Grand Cross level of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1922.
Perhaps his most treasured title was “patron of louts” that the homeless awarded him in 1917. When he died on March 20, 1923 from pernicious anemia, he was buried in the Janow Cemetery of Leopoli, known as the cemetery of the poor.
On July 2, 1944, Archbishop Jozef Bilczewski was declared a servant of God by Pope Pius XII when his process for canonization was approved. Pope St. John Paul II declared him venerable on December 18, 1997 and on June 26, 2001, the archbishop was declared blessed after nine-year-old Marcin Gawlik received a miraculous cure from his third-degree burns. The beatification took place in the Lviv Hippodrome in Ukraine when the Pope visited.
Shortly before his death, Pope St. John Paul II approved the canonization of Bilczewski and Pope Benedict XVI canonized him at St. Peter’s Square on October 23, 2005. His feast is celebrated on March 20.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Fr. James Schall passed away today. A Jesuit priest & Georgetown professor, he served as mentor & model to a numberless many (including me). With penetrating insight & wit, he pointed us to Christ & those great Catholic minds we mustn't forget.

Fr. Schall, requiescat in pace.

Please pray for Raymond DeSousa today, who is a weekly Wanderer columnist who is undergoing serious surgery today.

We ban God from the public square. We murder His most innocent. We deny Him on the Sabbath. We disregard his commandments. Is it any wonder?

Load More...

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., has died at the age of 91

Fr. James V. Schall, the prolific and much-beloved Jesuit, professor and author, died earlier today. His family states that “he was comfortable and at peace” at the time of his death. He was born in Pocahontas, Iowa, January 20, 1928.…Continue Reading

North Carolina Gov. vetoes bill requiring care for babies born alive after failed abortion

RALEIGH, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Thursday morning that would require abortionists to provide basic medical care to newborns who survive failed abortions, just days after the measure cleared the state legislature.…Continue Reading

How Cardinal Wuerl Misled the Papal Foundation

In 2017, Cardinal Donald Wuerl provided false and misleading information to the board of the Papal Foundation to secure a $25 million grant for the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), a scandal-plagued hospital in Rome. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro…Continue Reading

Since “Unplanned” Movie Released, 94 Abortion Clinic Workers Have Said They May Quit Their Jobs

Abby Johnson’s powerful conversion story is moving hearts inside the abortion industry. Chuck Konzelman, who is a co-writer/co-director of “Unplanned,” the new film detailing Johnson’s life, said nearly 100 abortion workers have reached out to them in the past few…Continue Reading

Franciscan University president resigns

Steubenville, Ohio, Apr 8, 2019 / 07:50 am (CNA).- Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR, has resigned as president of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Fr. Sheridan informed the university’s trustees of his decision during a regular meeting of the board on…Continue Reading

CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY HONORS ABORTION PROPONENT WITH COMMENCEMENT SOAPBOX, DOCTORATE

Alumni of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland and the Cardinal Newman Society are voicing their outrage at the school’s selection of Mark Shriver to deliver the 2019 commencement address while also receiving an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Shriver is president of the Save the…Continue Reading

Emails show Planned Parenthood behind California rule to make churches pay for abortions

Sacramento, Calif., Apr 5, 2019 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- A 2014 California rule forcing religious groups, including churches, to cover elective abortions for employees was the result of direct pressure from Planned Parenthood, internal emails have shown. On April 4,…Continue Reading

Notre Dame’s Catholic duty

On Wednesday, the LGBT Law Forum at the law school hosted an event featuring Jim Obergefell, Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon, plaintiffs in the Supreme Court caseObergefell v. Hodges, which mandated that every state recognize same-sex marriage. The talk was co-sponsored…Continue Reading

Catholic priests in Poland burn alleged sacrilegious books including ‘Harry Potter,’ condemn magic

Polish Catholic priests condemning magic burned dozens of books they considered to be sacrilegious, including works from the “Harry Potter” series. The SMS from Heaven Foundation – an evangelical group – posted photos of the burning at Gdansk’s Mother of…Continue Reading

Vatican Life Academy: Parents must vaccinate, even if vaccines come from aborted babies

VATICAN CITY, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning declaration, the Pontifical Academy for Life — now populated entirely with Pope Francis appointments — has urged parents to vaccinate their children, even if the vaccines are derived from aborted…Continue Reading

Cardinal DiNardo discharged from hospital, expected to make full recovery

Houston, Texas, Mar 21, 2019 / 08:59 am (CNA).- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has been released from the hospital, following a mild stroke last week, his archdiocese announced March 20. The cardinal, who serves as president of the U.S.…Continue Reading

Montreal priest stabbed at Mass ‘eager’ to return

Montreal, Canada, Mar 23, 2019 / 03:19 pm (CNA).- Father Claude Grou is out of the hospital and grateful for the groundswell of support he received after he was stabbed by an assailant while celebrating a televised Mass at St.…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Tickets For Life

Today . . .

Cardinal Tobin: Catechism language ‘very unfortunate’ on homosexuality

Newark, N.J., Apr 18, 2019 / 10:54 am (CNA).- The Archbishop of Newark said Wednesday that the language used by the Catechism of the Catholic Church to describe homosexual acts is “very unfortunate,” adding that he hopes the Catechism will use different language in its discussion of homosexuality. “The Church, I think, is having its own conversation about what our faith has us do and say with people in relationships that are same-sex. What should…Continue Reading

Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral goes up in flames

PARIS, April 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Paris authorities are battling a fire in the city’s Notre Dame cathedral that broke out Monday, producing massive plumes of smoke billowing from the historic Catholic site. Authorities have cleared the area surrounding the cathedral as they battle flames “leap[ing] out besides its two bell towers,” NBC News reports. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has requested that passersby steer clear of the vicinity until further

Medical students in Africa outraged over U.S. based org enticing them to become abortionists

UGANDA, April 12, 2019, LifeSiteNews – A U.S. based pro-abortion group that misleadingly calls itself “Catholics for Choice” is enticing unsuspecting medical students in Africa’s most vibrant Catholic countries to become not only abortion promoters but even abortionists, according to medical students who attended a workshop hosted by the organization. Ugandan medical students recently became troubled when they realized too late that a seminar about “reproductive he

Full text of Benedict XVI essay: ‘The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse’

popeben

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2019 / 04:23 pm (CNA).- The following is a previously unpublished essay from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI: On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical abuse perpetrated against minors. The extent and gravity of…Continue Reading

“Unplanned” Movie Stays in Top 10 With Surprisingly Strong 2nd Week at Box Office

The pro-life movie “Unplanned” finished in the Top 10 after a surprisingly strong 8th place finish at the box office this weekend. The film, which opened in theaters nationwide last week, follows the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after watching a baby be aborted on an ultrasound screen. Despite a media blackout, a ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little coverage outside conservative media circles, “Unplanned” opened in 4th…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Dispute Over Papal Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Approval Continues

By KEVIN JONES VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Scrutiny continues for the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, amid questions of whether some of its grant activity was motivated by a desire to secure leniency for disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The ongoing controversy surrounds the foundation’s decision to make an unprecedented grant to a leading Italian hospital whose…Continue Reading

First Time In 300 Years… Rome’s Holy Stairs Are Uncovered

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS ROME (CNA) — The bare, white marble of Rome’s “Scala Sancta,” which are believed to be the stairs trod by Christ on the day of His trial and death, are now exposed and visible to pilgrims for the first time in almost 300 years. The stairs, encased in wood since the 1700s,…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . St. Peter Of Alcantara Tells Us How To Pray And Meditate

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara (212 pages, TAN Books & Publishers Inc., paperback and Kindle). Visit www.tanbooks.com, or call 1-800-437-5876. St. Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) was born in Spain, and became a Franciscan friar in a strict observance friary. He was ordained in 1524, and went…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says Counseling Ban Violates Free Speech

ATLANTA — Liberty Counsel filed a brief April 11 in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in an appeal challenging the constitutionality of ordinances enacted by the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County, which prohibit minors from receiving voluntary counseling from licensed professionals to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions or behaviors, or…Continue Reading

Talking About Pro-Life Progress

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Life International, www.hli.org. It first appeared at www.hli.org on April 8, 2019. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: It is easy to get discouraged at the state of the Church these days, particularly at the decline in the number of Religious sisters from 181,000 in 1965 to about 47,000 today, which Fr. George Rutler blames partly on those orders which “accepted bad advice from misguided and misguiding theologians and leaders. Bishops often have been at fault,…Continue Reading

Holy Father . . . Approves Decrees Regarding Eight Candidates For Sainthood

By DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOV ROME (ZENIT) — Pope Francis on April 6 received in audience Angelo Cardinal Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same congregation to promulgate the decrees regarding: — The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Donizetti Tavares de Lima, diocesan…Continue Reading

Faith In The Person Of Jesus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR C) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 Today we celebrate the most important day in the Church’s year. We know our Lord told His disciples that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and so enter into His glory. St. Peter speaks of this in the first reading and also…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “God Is Absent”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Benedict XVI released a statement in German last week on the abuse crisis (see text elsewhere in this issue). It shows the extent of the crisis that, although he seeks to live in prayer and contemplation, he has chosen to speak out on this topic with the okay from Pope Francis. People are craving clear…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: For those parents and grandparents looking for good advice on how to educate children and young people about the tough moral issues of the day, may we recommend the book Made This Way by Leila Miller and Trent Horn. The chapter headings deal with Sex Outside of Marriage, Same-Sex Marriage, Divorce, Contraception, Abortion, Reproductive Technologies, Modesty, Pornography, Transgender…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Of St. Joseph De Betancur

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church is the largest provider of health care in the world. As of 2013, more than 40,000 hospitals, clinics, and homes for the elderly were run by the Catholic Church throughout the world. The pioneering work of many devout saints for centuries provided care for the sick and the homeless. To care for the sick…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered…Continue Reading