January 30, Bl Bronislao (Bronisław) Markiewicz

January 30
in the Archdiocese of Przemyśl
BLESSED BRONISLAO (BRONISŁAW) MARKIEWICZ, PRESBYTER
Optional memorial

Bronislao Markiewicz was born on 13 July 1842 in Pruchnik in the Diocese of Przemyśl. He was ordained to priesthood on 15 September 1867. In 1885, after eighteen years of fervent and fruitful pastoral work in his diocese, he joined the Salesians and became a student of St John Bosco. In 1897 he founded two congregations: Sisters of St Michael the Archangel and Fathers of St Michael the Archangel. Filled with love for God and man, acting in the spirit of “temperance and work,” he devoted his whole life to forgotten and alienated orphans, poor children and deserted and morally neglected teenagers. He died after arduous and pious life on 19 January 1912.

Common of Pastors.

[PDF Version]

OFFICE OF READINGS

SECOND READING

From works by Blessed Bronislao Markiewicz, presbyter
(“Temperance and Work” [1904] 73-74)
Two bases of social life

The world is falling apart, because people have eliminated two main bases of social life. In upbringing and then in life they put emphasis on intellectual education and knowledge, rejecting temperance and work. Meanwhile, our Creator, who knows better what we need, demands work by the sweat of our brow and mortification under threat of losing bread and salvation. he clearly tells the first parents in the paradise, “By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). And Jesus adds in the Gospel: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). This means: not only am I, your Saviour, supposed to suffer and toil, but also you, all my followers, must suffer and work if you wish to be in heaven with Me; whereas your mind, your will and your deeds must be submitted compliantly to the orders of God’s commandments.
You must harness your body with all its senses and desires to constant service of God, day and night fighting and working for his glory throughout your life, till death, “For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh” (Galatians 5:17). Yet, temperance and work do not come easily. In order not to surrender in fight, we must keep a tight rein on our body and all its innate inclinations, just as a rider does on an unbroken horse so that it does not jump into a precipice. In order to relieve the burden that the Creator put on us and to encourage us to willingly renounce ourselves, God’s Son walks before us in his human body, setting an example. Jesus readily works by the sweat of his brow in St Joseph’s workshop, patiently endures suffering and poverty of everyday life, and eventually dies on the cross in great pain. He does not spare or indulge himself, and he does so to teach us how to live. His sorrowful Mother follows him, suffering and working throughout her life. After her go hosts of saints who “have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
Meanwhile today we hear a calling all over the earth, unfortunately especially among baptised nations, claiming that we ought to strive for a life of indulgence and work less. Money, power, repose, joy, delight, honours are ideals of the majority of people nowadays; work by the sweat of one’s brow and Christian temperance are universally disdained. Only those that have no choice work and suffer. There are very few of those who work and suffer willingly in Christ’s spirit. In general, people nowadays do not realise that work and Christian temperance receive hundredfold reward on earth, while the negligence of mortification causes not only eternal punishment in hell, but also worldly calamities. Effeminate world does not accept bitter means of Christian mortification for treating the ills of the spirit.
It is mortification that heals us from earthly and sensual things (Philippians 3:19) that hurt human soul and lead us to perdition. By means of mortification we can now redeem temporal punishments, inflicted upon ourselves by our sins. Mortification elevates our souls to heavenly things and makes it ready to by united with God.
Only people who mortify themselves possess the gift of prayer, indispensable in salvation. Christian mortification gives us internal peace and the joy of spirit. Thus, mortification, that is work and Christian temperance, is a necessary condition, and a special source of spiritual richness and human happiness in this life and in the next life. Temperance and work are the most significant bases of social life. Only mortification makes wealth, health, strength, peace, freedom and independence possible. (…)
We should not only teach our young about those two bases of social life, but also train them actively, setting an example. We ought to pray daily and frequently for understanding and executing these two conditions of happiness. Our education system and upbringing should be based on these two principles. Only then will abundant means be found, and we shall be able to elevate our own nation and our neighbouring nations, creating the brotherhood of peoples – the greatest period in the history of mankind.[1]

RESPONSORY Ephesians 5:8-9; Matthew 5:14, 16

You are light in the Lord. Live as children of light,
For light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

You are the light of the world. Your light must shine before others.
For light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Almighty and merciful God,
you chose Blessed Bronislao, presbyter, to be a protector and father of deserted youth,
grant us, we beseech you, that we, encouraged by the example of his temperate and arduous life, may be able to fulfil your holy will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
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 15 iunii 2005, Prot. 517/05/L.


[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).

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