September 17, St Sigismund Felix (Zygmunt Szczęsny) Feliński

September 17
SAINT SIGISMUND FELIX FELIŃSKI, BISHOP
Optional memorial
In the Archdiocese of Warszawa – Obligatory memorial

Sigismund Felix (Zygmunt Szczęsny) Feliński was born on 1 November 1822 in Wojutyn near Lutsk in Volyn (present-day Ukraine). He was ordained in 1855. As a priest he was a spiritual father and professor of the Theological Academy. He also founded a shelter for the poor and orphaned, as well as the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary. After becoming Archbishop of Warszawa in 1862, he guided the faithful with devotion until he was exiled for 20 years. He died on 17 September 1895 in Kraków. He was beatified on 18 August 2002 by John Paul II and canonised by Benedict XVI on 11 October 2009.

Common of Pastors.

[PDF Version]

OFFICE OF READINGS

SECOND READING

From writings of Saint Sigismund Felix Feliński, bishop
(Spiritual Conferences, Lviv 1885;
Conferences on Vocation, Kraków 1890)
Without Unlimited Trust in Providence We Cannot Love the Cross

Only at the foot of the cross or the humble manger of our Saviour can we derive strength to faithfully fulfil God’s will, in whatever position Providence has placed us. Without unlimited trust in Providence we cannot love the cross, for only unshaken faith in the fact the Lord watches over us and makes all accidents lead us to salvation can give us inner peace. A soul that trusts the Lord in all afflictions sees a new heavenly grace.

Unlimited trust in the care of Providence ought to fill the hearts of all that renounce the world and its temptations and seek above all the Kingdom of God. All matters are pleasant to God if they are not only started according to God’s will but also executed for God so that man is from beginning to end a tool of Providence.

Do not wish for one thing or other to be successful, nor despair too much if there are failures. Bear in mind that Providence rules and uses us as mere tools. We shall not be judged for our successes but for our hard and sincere work, for this in our power.

In our duties we ought never to be impatient or discouraged, not seeing the fruit of our toils. Carrying out the duties, fulfilling God’s will should our ultimate aim and this is our only merit; visible benefits of our work are all in God’s hands and he himself organises them according to the plans of his Providence, giving us reward not for the success but for our faithfulness.

Whatever good is to be done in this world has been planned and decided for ages in the almighty though of the Creator and man would make futile efforts to create new inventions, even if they are good, if they had not been previously included in the plan of Providence that governs the world. Trust in the Lord; do not care about tomorrow; give others generously as Providence has given to you; if need be it alone shall inspire generous hearts to come to your aid.

For a soul unconditionally dedicated to God it is enough to know what he demands of them in order to immediately do what he wishes, leaving it to Providence to guide the consequences. In all that does not depend on our will, we ought to see the hand of Providence, accepting with obedient and grateful heart all its decisions. To be like Christ, to as it were become him, is the aim of human dignity that we ought to aspire to. The Alpha and the Omega of Christian perfection and the ultimate goal of inner work. [1]

RESPONSORY 1 Thessalonians 2:8; Galatians 4:19

With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
So dearly beloved had you become to us.

My children, for whom I am again in labour until Christ be formed in you.
So dearly beloved had you become to us.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O Almighty and merciful God,
in your Divine Providence you led Saint Sigismund Felix, bishop, on the path of suffering, truth and love,
grant, through his intercession, that we, faithfully serving Christ in the Church, may reach eternal life.
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 3 octobris 2002, Prot. 1484/02/L.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).

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