June 12 - Bl. Alphonsus Mary Mazurek - Priest & Companion martyrs
OCD optional Memorial
Mass taken from From the Common of Martyrs
He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor, while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterwards he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28 August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13 June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.
From the address of Pope John Paul II
Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness
“Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the
kingdomof Heavenis theirs”(Matt. 5:10). In a particular way, this beatitude places the events of Good Friday before our eyes. Christ was condemned to death as a criminal, and then crucified. On Calvaryit seemed he had been abandoned by God and left at the mercy of people’s derision. The Gospel proclaimed by Christ was put to a radical test: those who were present at the event cried out, “He is the king of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him”.(Matt. 27:42). Christ does not descend from the cross since he is faithful to his Gospel. He suffers human injustice. Only in this way, in fact, is he able to accomplish the justification of mankind. Above all, he wanted the words of the sermon on the mount to be verified in himself: “Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you”. (Matt. 5:11-12)
To whom do these words still apply? To many, many people throughout humanity’s history, to whom it was given to suffer persecution for the sake of justice. We know that the first three centuries after Christ were marked by persecutions, at times terrible, particularly under some Roman emperors from Nero to Diocletian. Even though these ceased from the time of the Edict of Milan, nevertheless they broke out again in various historical eras, in numerous places throughout the world.
Even our century has written a great martyrology. I myself, over the twenty years of my pontificate, have elevated to the glory of the altar numerous groups of martyrs: Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican. How may there were during the period of the Second World War and under the communist totalitarian system! They suffered and gave their life in the Hitlerian or Soviet extermination camps. The time has now come to remember all these victims and to render due honour to them. These are often “nameless, ‘unknown soldiers’ as it were, of God’s great cause”, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (n. 37). It is also good to speak of them on Polish land, since here there was a particular sharing in this contemporary martyrology. They are an example for us to follow. From their blood we should draw strength for the sacrifice of our life, which we ought to offer to God every day. They are an example for us to give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ, as they did. I am happy that I was able to beatify, among the one hundred and eight martyrs, Blessed Fr. Alphonsus Mary Mazurek, a pupil, and much later, a well-deserving educator in the minor seminary connected to the Discalced Carmelite monastery. I had an occasion of meeting personally with this witness to Christ, who in 1944, as prior of the Czerna monastery, sealed his faithfulness to God with death through martyrdom. I kneel in veneration of his relics which rest in the churchof St. Josephand I thank God for the gift of the life, the martyrdom and sanctity of this great religious.
Almighty and Eternal God, Who granted to the blessed martyr, Alfonso Maria, to fight for the faith until the pouring of his blood, make that, aided by his intercession, we can withstand through Your love our difficulties and with courage walk towards You Who are the only fountain of life