Vatican: Marian founder’s miracle approved!

It’s official.

The Vatican has announced the approval of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczyński (1631-1701), the Founder of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

The approval opens the way for his canonization. The Consistory of the Cardinals will meet, perhaps, in March, during which the Holy Father may announce a canonization date. In all likelihood, the canonization would be held in Rome.

The Marians’ Superior General Fr. Andrzej Pakuła, MIC, said Blessed Stanislaus’ canonization would be a “gift” to the Congregation and to the Church.

“His example of total dedication to Christ and the Church, after the example of the Immaculate Mother of our Lord, would become so great that it will draw us further to a holy life.”

Beatified in 2007, Blessed Stanislaus — referred to as “Father Founder” by the Marians — was a prolific writer who urged the world to contemplate God’s mercy and to turn to Mary Immaculate for her gracious guidance and efficacious care. The Polish native is remembered as a zealous priest who preached and practiced love of God and neighbor.

Living in a war-torn time period, Blessed Stanislaus witnessed thousands of casualties on battlefields and also from dreaded plagues. He, himself, accompanied Polish troops as a chaplain in battles against Turkey in Ukraine in 1674. He was deeply saddened to observe how many people died with no time to prepare to meet their Maker.

After he experienced visions of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, he was moved to engage in, and advocate for, prayer and penance on their behalf. Offering their lives for the Holy Souls in Purgatory remains one of the Marians’ charisms, in addition to spreading devotion to Mary as the Immaculate Conception, operating publishing apostolates, and assisting where the need is greatest, including in parishes, shrines, and missions.

Blessed Stanislaus’ crowning achievement came in 1670 when, after many hardships and setbacks, he founded the Marians, the Church’s first men’s religious order dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

The Marians point to Divine Providence to explain the interesting fact that in the charism of Blessed Stanislaus so many themes reoccur later in the message of Divine Mercy, as revealed to St. Faustina in the 1930s, which the Marians have promoted since 1941.

In words that were later to be echoed in St. Faustina’s revelations, Blessed Stanislaus wrote, “The most merciful Savior of the world cares for the salvation of all people, and not only does He have in consideration the happiness of the just, but also, or even mainly, of the sinners.” As Jesus told St. Faustina, “The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 723).

The Vatican announced the approval of the miracle on Jan. 21. It involved the healing of a 20-year-old woman in Poland shortly after Blessed Stanislaus’ beatification. The woman was suffering from a respiratory problem that resembled that of a common cold. All attempts at treatment with a variety of antibiotics ended in failure. Her condition deteriorated. She lost consciousness, and her body began to shut down. The doctor informed the family that her lungs were destroyed and her death was imminent.

After consultation with the family, the doctors decided to remove her from life support. This was on Wednesday of the Holy Week. The mother, filled with grief, went to her parish church to pray. There, a catechist noticed her crying, approached her, and handed her a booklet that contained instructions on praying a novena through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus. The woman urged the mother to recite it and to place confidence in God’s grace working through Blessed Stanislaus. The mother, together with her husband and other family members, began to pray the novena.

Even though the woman had been removed from life support, she did not die. To the contrary, she regained consciousness. Several days into the novena, the woman fully recovered. Seeing the turnaround in her condition, the doctors took an x-ray of her lungs. This was on the ninth day (the last day) of the novena. To their total disbelief, her lungs were fully healed, resembling those of a newborn infant.

She was discharged from the hospital during Easter week with a cure that medical science had no explanation. She proceeded with her wedding plans, as arranged before her illness. Within a few weeks, the wedding took place. She married the young man, who, though weak in faith, remained at her bedside day and night while she was in the hospital. They now have two children, and her health is in perfect order.

A medical team of the Holy See reviewed the case, and on Sept. 17, 2015 (coincidentally, the 314th anniversary of his death), the team unanimously affirmed that the woman’s cure has no natural or scientific explanation. On Nov. 10, a team of theologians declared the healing occurred through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus. The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints then approved the miracle on Jan. 13. Then, on Jan. 21, Pope Francis authorized the promulgation of the decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

“This is a holy man, someone we can turn to in prayer and learn from,” says Br. Andrew Maczynski, MIC, vice-postulator in North America and Asia for the Marian Causes of Canonization.