Letters to the Marian Helpers
Father Jan, because this is how the director of the Apostolate of Divine Mercy is called each time (because of the founder of the Apostolate, Rev. Jan Przybysz, MIC), who is Rev. Dr Lukasz Mazurek, MIC, writes letters to all members of the Apostolate several times throughout the year.
You can read the content of the latest letter here. If you want to belong to the Apostolate of Divine Mercy through the Association of Marian Helpers, write or call us. We are waiting for YOU with joy!
Letter for May 2021
DEAR MARIAN HELPERS!
Humble birth… Youthful creativity… Rejection… Betrayal… Salvation from death… Exile to Siberia… Near death… Miraculous recovery…
The makings of a great novel? Or a fascinating biography? They are neither. They are the “life story” of our community of priests and brothers — the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate
Conception. In the 350 years since their founding in 1670 in Poland, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception have been quietly serving the needs of the Church in the midst of history’s most tumultuous events.
Today, we Marians, especially in this current pandemic and other human suffering, continue to serve all those whom God places in our paths, so that His Love and Mercy may be even more visible in the modern world. In this special month of May, we want to be close to Our Blessed Mother Mary in a special way and also to her devoted disciple, who championed her Immaculate Conception, our Founder, Saint Father Stanislaw Papczyński.
The Marian Father’s beginnings are interwoven with a period of Polish history best exemplified by the images of burning buildings, the arsenal of weapons, and thousands of wartime casualties. Such a setting is well illustrated by Polish author Henry Sienkiewicz in his work Trilogy, describing the Cossack wars, the Swedish invasion of Poland, the brave defence of the Jasna Gora monastery, and, finally, Polish victory over the invading Turks.
THE MARIAN FOUNDER
It was during these turbulent times, in the year 1631, that John Papczyński was born in the small village of Podegrodzie, in southern Poland. Years later, by God’s grace, he was to be known as Father Stanislaus Papczyński of Jesus and Mary, the founder of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers. On 16 September 2007, he was declared “Blessed” in Lichen, Poland and he was canonised a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 5 June 2016 Rome, Italy.
DEVOTED TO MARY, CONCERNED FOR SOULS
The Marian devotion of St. Stanislaus particularly focused on the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and this was some two centuries before the dogma would be declared by the Church. He wrote: “I believe everything that the Holy Roman Catholic Church believes … but first of all I profess that the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, was spotless from original sin, from the moment of her conception.”
The honour of the Immaculate Conception was very precious to St. Stanislaus. He preached about it in his sermons and wrote extensively on the subject. Like a knight of old, who pledged to defend the honour of his lady, he made a vow of blood to lay down his life if necessary in honour of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. History shows that he faithfully kept this vow, not only in the way he lived his life, but in the founding of a religious order dedicated to promoting the Immaculate Conception.
Two other factors weighed heavily on the mind of St. Stanislaus, as God led him to establish a new religious order. During the period of the Swedish invasion, St. Stanislaus witnessed thousands of casualties on battlefields and from the dreaded plagues. He himself accompanied Polish troops as a chaplain in the battles against Turkey in the Ukraine in 1674. He was deeply saddened to observe how many people died with no time to prepare to meet their Maker. At the same time, he experienced visions of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. These factors, combined with the deeply charitable spirit that always characterized St. Stanislaus, led to a charism very distinctive in his religious community: prayer and penance on behalf of the dead – including those most forgotten, especially the souls of those who had died in wars and plagues.
Along with the wars and violence, St. Stanislaus observed a general decline in moral ethics that threatened the religious life of his nation. He therefore determined that the new religious order should take a profound interest in religious education in order to deepen the faith of the common people. Members were to act with missionary zeal in bringing knowledge of the faith to those whose religious education had been most neglected.
MARIANS IN THE WORK OF EVANGELIZATION TODAY
Today the Congregation of the Marian Fathers is organized in three provinces and six vicariates, with more than 80 locations engaged in God’s work. Marian apostolates at the present time serve Christ and the Church on nearly all the world’s continents, according to our motto: “For Christ and the Church.”
A very important work of our Congregation is also the Apostolate of Divine Mercy, which we are leading for you in London, and which in May during our daily prayers will be invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom St. Stanislaw Papczyński, our Founder loved. That is why I invite you to connect with us spiritually and on the Internet (www.divinemercyapostolate.co.uk) in this Marian month of May and to send us your prayer intentions. Thank you for your support, love for Jesus and Mary, and for your commitment to proclaim and practice God’s Mercy!
With God’s blessing
Yours Fr Lukasz Mazurek MIC