In the Diocese of Rzeszów
BLESSED LADISLAUS FINDYSZ, PRESBYTER AND MARTYR
Ladislaus (Władysław) Findyszwas born on 13 December 1907 in Krościenko Niżne in the Subcarpathian region. He was ordained on 19 June 1932 in Przemyśl. In 1942 he became rector in Nowy Żmigród. During World War II and afterwards he generously helped, both spiritually and financially, all the inhabitants regardless of their nationality or denomination. During Vatican II he actively participated in the action of so-called “Concilliar Good Works,” appealing from the pulpit and with letters for the renewal of religious life. Rev Findysz’s fervent pastoral activity met with persecutions of the communist regime. On 17 December 1963 he was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment for supposedly “forcing to religious practices.” In prison he was abused physically and mentally. The authorities deliberately forbade his surgery for oesophageal cancer. He was released on parole, extremely exhausted. He died after a few months on 21 August 1964. He was beatified as a martyr on 19 June 2005 in Warsaw.
Common of One Martyr, or of Pastors.
OFFICE OF READINGS
From the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II Ecclesia in Europa
Witnesses to the Christian Faith as a Sign of Hope
No human being can live without looking towards the future. How much more so the Church, which lives in expectation of the Kingdom yet to come and already present in this world. It would be unjust not to acknowledge the signs of the influence of Christ’s Gospel in the life of societies. (…) I intend, however, to draw particular attention to some of the signs which have emerged in the life of the Church herself. In the first place, together with the Synod Fathers, I want to point out to everyone, so that it will never be forgotten, that great sign of hope represented by the many witnesses to the Christian faith who lived in the last century, in both East and West. They found suitable ways to proclaim the Gospel amid situations of hostility and persecution, often even making the supreme sacrifice by shedding their blood.
These witnesses, and particularly those who suffered martyrdom, are an eloquent and magnificent sign which we are called to contemplate and to imitate. They show us the vitality of the Church; they stand before us as a light for the Church and for humanity because they caused the light of Christ to shine in the darkness; to the extent that they came from different religious traditions, they also shine forth as a sign of hope for the journey of ecumenism, in the certainty that their blood “is also a vital source of unity for the Church”.
Even more radically, they tell us that martyrdom is the supreme incarnation of the Gospel of hope: “In this way, martyrs proclaim ‘the Gospel of hope’ and bear witnesses to it with their lives to the point of shedding their blood, because they are certain that they cannot live without Christ and are ready to die for him in the conviction that Jesus is the Lord and the Saviour of humanity and that, therefore, only in him does mankind find true fullness of life. According to the exhortation of the Apostle Peter, their example shown them ready to give reason for the hope that is in them. Furthermore, martyrs celebrate the ‘Gospel of hope’, because the offering of their lives is the greatest manifestation of the living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which constitutes true spiritual worship, and the source, soul and summit of every Christian celebration. Finally, martyrs serve the ‘Gospel of hope’, because they express in their martyrdom a love and service of humanity to a high degree insofar as they demonstrate that obedience to the law of the Gospel begets a moral and societal life which honours and promotes the dignity and freedom of every person”.
One fruit of the conversion brought about by the Gospel is the holiness of so many men and women in our time: not only those whom the Church has officially proclaimed saints, but all those who with simplicity and amid the circumstances of their daily lives testified to their fidelity to Christ. How can one not think of the countless sons and daughters of the Church who throughout Europe’s history have lived lives of generous and authentic holiness in the hiddenness of their family and their professional and social lives? “All of them like ‘living stones’ adhering to Christ ‘the cornerstone’, have built Europe as a spiritual and moral edifice, leaving a most precious inheritance to the future generations. The Lord Jesus promised: ‘He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father”. The saints are living proof of the fulfilment of this promise, and they encourage the belief that this is possible in the most difficult hours of history”.
RESPONSORY Galatians 2:20, Philippians 3:8
I now live by faith in the Son of God,
– Who has loved me and given himself up for me.
I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
– Who has loved me and given himself up for me.
O Almighty, eternal God,
thanks to your grace Blessed Ladislaus gave up his life to justice,
grant through his intercession that we may preserve faith he taught and walk the path he showed us.
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.
Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum. Probatum seu confirmatum, die 28 iunii 2005, Prot. 875/05/L.