Monday, October 15, 2007

FATHER WALTER CISZEK, S. J. (1904 - 1984)

Father Ciszek with Conchita

Father Ciszek, Servant of God (1990), born at Shenandoah, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), of Polish immigrants, entered the Society of Jesus where he was ordained priest according to the Byzantine rite, in 1937. Moved by the desire to serve the Catholics behind the Iron Curtain, he left for Russia in 1940. He was arrested immediately after his arrival and spent almost twenty years in the Soviet gaols and camps. Released in 1963, he then returned to the United States . . .

Informed about the "events" of Garabandal, he quickly discerned their supernatural authenticity. A close friendship with Conchita allowed him to deepen even more his inner conviction about the divine origin of these "events."

The cause for the beatification of Fr. Ciszek opened at the end of the 1980's.
[From 'Garabandal' Book, page 226]

Father Ciszek is one of my favorite friends in Heaven, whom I pray for his beatification every day! His life was one long suffering and heroic worship of Almighty God! He wrote a couple of books about his life, which are best sellers. My favorite is "With God, in Russia."

Here is a short review of this book from Ignatius Press:

Father Walter Ciszek, S.J., author of the best-selling "He Leadeth Me", tells here the gripping, astounding story of his twenty-three years in Russian prison camps in Siberia, how he was falsely imprisoned as an "American spy", the incredible rigors of daily life as a prisoner, and his extraordinary faith in God and commitment to his priestly vows and vocation. He said Mass under cover, in constant danger of death. He heard confession of hundreds who could have
betrayed him; he aided spiritually many who could have gained by exposing him.

This is a remarkable story of personal experience. It would be difficult to write fiction that could honestly portray the heroic patience, endurance, fortitude and complete trust in God lived by Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.

"A man of invincible faith and heroic fortitude, who is sustained by a great love for God and his fellow man. His story is highly recommended as a worthwhile reading experience for one and all."

May he intercede for us here below and hasten the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary! Fr. Ciszek, pray for us!
Roman Deacon