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bl. Jerzy Matulewicz
bl. Jerzy Matulewicz, Restorer of the Marian Congregation

Blessed George Matulewicz, bishop was born on April 13, 1871 in the village of Lugine near Mariampole in Lithuania. When he was still a small child, his parents died, so he was raised by his brother Jan. In his youth he fell ill with bone tuberculosis, he struggled with this disease for the rest of his life.

In 1891 he entered the seminary in Kielce. When the tsarist authorities closed the seminary, he continued his studies in Warsaw, and then in St. Petersburg. He was ordained a priest on December 31, 1898. A year later, he graduated in theology at the St. Petersburg Academy, and obtained his doctorate at the University of Freiburg, Switzerland.
He returned to Kielce, where he began working as a seminary professor. Due to illness, he left them and moved to Warsaw. There he started his social activity, establishing, among others The Association of Catholic Workers and a junior high school in Bielany. George also had an intention to renew and reform the Marian Order. On August 29, 1909, he made his religious profession in the hands of the last surviving Marian, Father Wincenty Senkus. A year later, he composed new constitutions for the order.

The new rule was confirmed by Pope Pius X. The first novitiate of the renewed community was established in St. Petersburg, the second in Swiss Friborg, a religious house was established in Chicago, and during World War I, a house in Bielany near Warsaw. Jerzy Matulewicz was a general of the order from 1911.

Father Jerzy also established the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Congregation of the Sisters Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist, and supported the congregations founded by Bl. Father Honorat Koźmiński.

In 1918 he was appointed bishop of Vilnius by Benedict XV. Willing to devote himself to the leadership of the law, he asked to be relieved of his bishop's duties. He obtained his consent in August 1925. In the same year he was appointed apostolic visitator in Lithuania.

Father Jerzy died suddenly after an unsuccessful operation on January 27, 1927. He was beatified by John Paul II in 1987 during the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the Baptism of Lithuania.

"God, in the heart of Blessed George, the bishop, you kindled a flame of love for Christ and the Church, let us pray that, following his example and intercession, we may faithfully follow Christ and devote our lives generously to building up his Mystical Body."

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czerwiec, 2024