.- Pope Francis on Tuesday recognized the heroic virtue of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the former Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, as well as Patrick Peyton, an Irish priest known for his promotion of the Rosary.
The Pope recognized the heroic virtue Dec. 19 of six other people on the path to canonization, as well as the martyrdom of Teodoro Illera Del Olmo, priest of the Congregation of St. Peter in Chains, and 15 companions, who were killed ‘in hatred of the faith’ during the religious persecution in Spain in 1936 and 1937.
Miracles attributed to the intercession of diocesan priest Giovanni Battista Fouque (1851-1926) and Jesuit priest Tiburzio Arnaiz Nunoz, founder of the Misioneras de las Doctrinas Rurales (1903-1977), were also approved, paving the way for their beatification.
Francis met Dec. 18 with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, giving his approval for the causes to move forward.
He recognized the heroic virtue of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynksi, now called ‘Venerable,’ who was born in the village of Zuzela in eastern Mazovia (at the time, part of the Russian Empire) on Aug. 3, 1901.
Wyszynski was ordained a priest on Aug. 3, 1924, his 24th birthday, celebrating his first Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving at the Jasna Gora Shrine in Czestochowa, where the image of the Black Madonna resides.
In 1946 he was appointed Bishop of Lublin and then in 1948 named Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw, thus becoming the “Primate of Poland.”
Often called the “Primate of the Millennium,” he is known for his heroic resistance to Nazism and Communism. He was also instrumental in the approval of Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) as bishop of Krakow, and later, in urging him to accept his election as pope.
He is also credited with helping to conserve Christianity in Poland during the persecution by the Communist regime, which ruled from 1945-1989. At one point he imprisoned with other Catholic priests during a wave of anti-Catholic persecution, where he witnessed brutal torture and mistreatment of prisoners.
In 1953 he was made a cardinal by Pope Pius XII. He died of abdominal cancer on May 28, 1981, at the age of 79, and is buried in St. John’s Arch-cathedral in Warsaw.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.