Two towering figures of 20th-century Polish Catholicism were beatified in Warsaw on Sunday. Source: Catholic News Agency.
Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, declared Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Mother Elżbieta Róża Czacka “Blessed” at a Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in the Polish capital.
He praised Cardinal Wyszyński, the primate of Poland who led the Church’s resistance to communism, and Mother Elżbieta, a blind nun who revolutionised care for the visually impaired, for offering a “model of service”.
Attendance at the livestreamed ceremony was limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Poland’s bishops encouraged Catholics to attend local celebrations and follow the beatification on television and online.
The ceremony took place at the same time as the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary, celebrated by Pope Francis.
The recipients of the miracles that paved the way for the beatifications took part in the ceremony.
Karolina Gawrych, 18, carried the relics of Mother Elżbieta, whom she credits with her recovery from a devastating accident.
Cardinal Wyszyński’s relics were taken up to the altar by Sister Nulla, who recovered from a 5cm tumour in her throat after members of her Community of Sisters Disciples of the Cross sought the cardinal’s intercession.
At the ceremony, it was announced that Mother Elżbieta’s memorial would be observed annually on May 19 and Cardinal Wyszyński’s on May 28.
Cardinal Wyszyński and Mother Elżbieta Beatified in Poland (Luke Coppen, Catholic News Agency)
Polish cardinal who defied communism, nun beatified (Associated Press/Crux)