January 27, Bl George (Jerzy) Matulaitis-Matulewicz

January 27
BLESSED GEORGE (JERZY) MATULAITIS-MATULEWICZ, BISHOP
Obligatory memorial

Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz was born in 1871 in Lūginė near Marijampolė, in a Lithuanian family. He became a presbyter of the Diocese of Kielce. He worked in Warsaw and in Saint Petersburg. He renewed the Marian Order and founded two female congregations. In the years 1918-1925 he was Bishop of Vilnius, and then an apostolic visitor in Lithuania, where he died in 1927.

Common of Pastors.

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OFFICE OF READINGS

SECOND READING

 From Journal by Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz, bishop
(Part I: St Petersburg 1910-1911)
To work, to toil, and to suffer for the Church

My motto shall be: to seek God in all things, to do all things for the greater glory of God, to bring the Spirit of God into all things so that all may be filled with it. May God and his glory be the center of my whole life, the axis about which all my thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions continually turn.
I kiss the hand of Providence; I surrender myself completely to your guidance – lead me, Lord. Heavenly Father, do whatever you wish with me. It has pleased you to lead me along wondrous paths, Lord. But who can understand your ways or anticipate your thoughts? I am your servant, Lord; send me wherever you will. Like a little child I fall into your arms. Carry me! You have been pleased to lead me along a road filled with obstacles, difficulties, and hardships. For this I thank you, for this I am deeply grateful. As I travel this road, I trust that here I will not lose my way so easily because this is the road that my beloved Savior Jesus Christ has taken.
Grant, that as I renounce myself more and more, I may love you more and more. Jesus, I love you and I desire to love you more. Let me grow in your love. O Jesus, give me the strength and the courage never to give in to any hardship or adversity, never to give up the struggle so that your name may be praised, so that your Church may flourish. Grant that I may boldly venture into any place, get in everywhere, so long as there is a chance for me to work and to suffer for you.
Is it not our duty to go wherever we can gain more for God, where we can save more souls, that is, where godlessness, immorality, lack of faith, and indifference toward the Church abound? Should we not try to get in, even to force ourselves into any place where it is possible to gain something for Christ and for his Church? If we find one road blocked, let us look for another. If one door is closed to us, let us make another; if one window is nailed down tight, let us break open another to let the light in.
O holy Catholic Church, true kingdom of Christ on earth, my greatest love! If I forget you, may my right hand wither! May I never speak again, if I forget you; if I cease to count you, my dearest Mother, the greatest of all my joys! May these words echo continually within my heart. If I may ask, Lord, let me be but a dishrag in your Church, a rag used to wipe up messes and then thrown away into some dark and dirty corner. I want to be used up and worn out in the same way so that your house may be a little cleaner and brighter. And afterwards, let me be thrown away like a dirty, worn-out dishrag. Let me be despised, used up, and worn out so that your glory may increase and so that I may be of some use to the growth of your Church. Only let me work and suffer for you and for your holy Church and for its visible head, the Holy Father.
Grant, O Lord, that we may be ruled by this one great thought: to work, to toil, and to suffer for the Church; that the Church’s sufferings, trials, and wounds may become the sufferings and wounds of our own hearts. May we burn with this one great desire: to devote our lives to God and to his Church, not seeking or expecting any earthly reward or anything this world has to offer; to be used up and to burn out in struggle, suffering, and combat for the sake of the Church. Oh, that we would have such great courage as to remain undaunted in the face of any obstacle created by the world or by the powers that be, never giving in to fear, but rather boldly moving forward to work and to do battle for the Church wherever the need is greatest, wherever the civil authorities are persecuting the Church and interfering with the life of its religious orders, organizations, and institutions. We should fear one thing only: to die without having suffered, struggled, and toiled for the Church, for the salvation of souls, for the glory of God. May all our thoughts, desires, and longings be directed toward that one goal: to bring Christ everywhere, to restore all things in his Spirit, to glorify the name of the Catholic Church in every place.
I thank you, Lord, for having given me such extraordinary feelings of love for the immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the past I found this prayer difficult. But now, how sweet it is to fall at her feet and to immerse myself in prayer! Overwhelmed by these feelings of incomparable sweetness, my soul swoons and my body is filled with wondrous, incomprehensible, and inexpressible tremors. It is like the feeling I had when I pressed the holy cross to my heart.[1]

RESPONSORY Colossians 1:18-19

Christ is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.
That in all things he himself might be preeminent.

 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.
That in all things he himself might be preeminent.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
in Bishop Blessed George’s heart you lit the flame of love towards Christ and the Church,
grant, we beseech you, that we, following his example, may faithfully follow Christ and selflessly sacrifice our lives for building his Mystical Body.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum. Probatum seu confirmatum, die 26 maii 1989, Prot. 1280/88.


[1] Matulaitis-Matulewicz, G. Journal. (Translated and edited by Sister Ann Mikaila, MVS). Stockbridge: 2003.

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