From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jan 25 23:57:17 2022
— Proverbs 12:23 —
A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself,
but the heart of fools blurts out folly.
Prudent people have a quiet confidence. Insecure or uncertain people
feel the need to prove themselves, but prudent people don't have to
prove anything. They know they are capable, so they can get on with
their work. Beware of showing off or being a "know-it-all." If you are
modest, people may not notice you at first, but they will respect you
January 26: - Blessed Michaël Kozal, Martyr
Blessed Michal Kozal, bishop was minister to those imprisoned, and
one of the many Polish martyrs who perished during the 2nd World War.
Beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II, Blessed Michal stood for love
and faith in the face of tyranny and persecution. He earned the
martyrs crown via his tireless preaching of the Gospel, even while
imprisoned in a concentration camp.
Born in the small Polish village of Nowy Folwark, Michal was the
member of a very large family. Due to their size, the family was quite
poor, although managed to get by. They were sustained on faith,
through the example and leadership of John and Marianna, Michal’s
devout parents. While not all the children were sent for education,
Michal demonstrated an academic aptitude, serious nature, and fondness
of everything sacred, and as such, was sent first to elementary school
and then to high school.
After graduating in 1914, Michal entered the seminary Leonium Poznan,
and was ordained in 1918, despite his studies having been disrupted by
World War I. He served well in various assignments, moving from town
to town in rural Poland, and demonstrating both zeal for the Lord and dedication to the Church. Simultaneously, Michal continued his
theological studies, and was recognized in 1922 via appointment as the
Prefect of the Catholic School of Humanities in Bydgoszcz. He was
later named the director and spiritual father of the Major Seminary of
Gniezno. So successful in his tasks, he was appointed the rector of
the seminary in 1929, despite the fact that he was the only teacher
there who had not yet finished his academic degree.
Blessed Michal labored for a decade at the seminary, leading his
charges by prudent and disciplined example. In 1939, Pope Pius XII
appointed him auxiliary Bishop of Wloclawek, and he was installed in
the Cathedral of the city on August 13. Only two weeks later, Poland
was invaded by Nazi troops, and Bishop Kozal found his position
required him to allay the fears of his parishioners, bringing comfort
in a time of horror and devastation. The Polish authorities urged the
Bishop to leave the city and reside in a safer location, but he felt
strongly that his place was with his people, and he remained in
Wloclawek to administer the parish and preach the Gospel.
Only 22 months following his appointment, the German troops took
Wloclawek, and systematically began dismantling the Church, as they
had in other cities. Catholic publications were suppressed, buildings belonging to the churches and religious institutions were seized, and
the clergy were arrested and detained. Despite the terror and
persecution, Bishop Kozal protested the seizures and arrests
zealously, but in vain. He was ordered to present himself to the
Gestapo, who ordered him to deliver his sermons only in German. He
refused, given that the vast majority of his parishioners did not
On November 7, 1939, Bishop Kozal was arrested, along with the other
priests still remaining in the city, and imprisoned in the city jail.
He was placed in solitary confinement, once it became clear that the
others were looking to him for leadership, spiritual counsel, and
direction. Shortly thereafter, the Gestapo began torturing him, as an
example for the others.
Three months later, in January 1940, Bishop Kozal was transferred with
the remaining priests and seminarians to a more comfortable location.
There, kept under house arrest, he began to re-organize the diocese
and seminary, to promote the faith and provide hope to those without
hope. Each day, from the small window of his room, he could see the
crowds of deportees, and realized that he, too, would suffer that
fate. In that moment, he offered his life to God, for the salvation
of the Church, and for the sufferers of Poland.
Despite the efforts of the Holy See to save them, on April 25, 1941,
Bishop Kozal, seven priests, and a deacon were transferred to the
concentration camp of Inowroclaw. The other priests and seminarians
had been deported earlier to several other camps, the idea being that
they should not all remain together. Arriving at Inowroclaw, Bishop
Kozal’s tortures began anew, with injuries resulting to both his legs
and his left ear. Only three weeks later, the group was transferred to
Dachau. Bishop Kozal was given prisoner number 24544, and continued
to suffer daily torture. However, he also continued to preach the
Gospel and lift the spirits of the imprisoned, regardless of faith,
with all his remaining strength. Bishop Kozal contracted typhus, and
was taken to a medical ward. It is there that he was given a lethal
injection of poison.
Blessed Bishop Kozal’s body was incinerated at the crematorium at
Dachau on January 30, 1941. A stone memorial at the cathedral of
Wloclawek commemorates his martyrdom, as well as that of 220 other
priests of the Wloclawek diocese, who died in Dachau.
Inspired by the life and courageous living of the Gospel demonstrated
by Blessed Michal Kozal, today we pray for courage to face the difficulties—both large and small—on our lives.
Those who attend to the regulation of their own consciences are not
much given to form rash judgments; far from wasting their reflections
in dissecting the actions and intentions of their neighbors, whose
conduct may appear cloudy and obscure, they enter into themselves, and
use their utmost endeavors to reform and perfect their own lives, like
bees which, in misty and cloudy weather, return to their hive to
pursue their home labors. Rash judgment produces detraction, which is
the bane of conversation. Were detraction banished from the world,
numberless other sins would be banished together with it.
-- St. Francis de Sales
But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they
shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. For by thy
words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be
condemned." (Matthew 12:36)
Dear God, give me courage,
for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.
I need courage before men against their threats
and against their seductions.
I need courage to bear unkindness,
I need courage to fight against the devil,
against terrors and troubles, temptations,
attractions, darkness and false lights,
against tears, depression, and above all fear.
I need Your help, dear God.
Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace.
Console me with Your blessed Presence
and grant me the courage to persevere
until I am with You forever in heaven. Amen.