On April 6-7, 2024, the faithful in Kalwaria Pacławska, Poland, prayed for the imminent beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Wenanty KATARZYNIEC, who is buried in this lovely village. The event also marked the anniversary of his death, which falls on March 31. The organizers of this prayer event stated: “We want to learn holiness from him.”

On Saturday, April 6, a Mass was celebrated, presided over by Friar Piotr CUBER, the Guardian of the friary in Cracow. Friar Piotr also gave the homily and later led a reflection. During his homily, he highlighted how this candidate for beatification was a friend of St. Maximilian M. KOLBE, who recognized a kindred spirit in him. Friar Piotr went on to describe some of the characteristics of Friar Wenanty: “He did ordinary things in an extraordinary way. He was zealous in his daily observance of the Rule of the Order. He was persistent in his systematic pursuit of a chosen goal. He was obedient to God’s will as expressed through the Rule and the decisions of his Superiors. He humbly accepted the cross of suffering and illness. He was devout in entrusting all the fruits of his labor to Divine Providence. Moreover, he did all this in silence, without fanfare, completely and solely for the love of God.”
Friar Paweł SOLECKI, the Vice-Postulator of the cause for beatification, stated that Friar Wenanty had always been considered holy and this had been expressed publicly at his funeral in 1921. Friar Wenanty’s process of beatification at the diocesan level began in 1949. In 2016, his heroicity of virtues was declared and he was named a Venerable Servant of God. “However, the moment when someone is elevated to the altars is determined by the Lord God,” said Friar Paweł. “This is because the confirmation of his sanctity is a miracle that the saint has asked for.”
On Sunday April 7, the participants watched a film about Friar Wenanty, which included testimony from Father Grzegorz ZĄBEK, the Pastor at the Kamionka Strumiłowa/Bużańska, where Friar Wenanty lived.
This second day of prayer coincided with Divine Mercy Sunday. Friar Marian GOŁĄB, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow), presided over the Mass. In his homily, he presented Friar Wenanty as a faithful servant of Divine Mercy. He indicated three works of mercy that Friar Wenanty practiced, namely, serving the sick and needy, reconciling people with God in the confessional and offering prayers and indulgences for the deceased. Friar Marian continued: “Today, this Venerable Servant of God teaches us a very important lesson in mercy, but he also points out a task we are to carry out, the task of being merciful.”
The two days of prayer for the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God concluded with a concert featuring the Sanok Chamber Choir and the ArtMus String Quartet, under the direction of Dr. Elżbieta PRZYSTASZ, a professor at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland.
Friar Wenanty KATARZYNIEC was born on October 7, 1889, in Obydów, near Lviv, currently in Ukraine. He graduated from the Teachers’ Seminary in Lviv and immediately entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. In 1914, he was ordained to the priesthood in Cracow. He served the faithful in particular as a confessor and a preacher. He served as a novice master. He taught philosophy, Latin and Greek. He ministered to the sick at a cancer hospital and offered spiritual guidance to nuns. He stood out for his spirit of profound prayer. He contracted tuberculosis and died on March 31, 1921, in Kalwaria Pacławska. He was thirty-two years of age.

Friar Jan M. SZEWEK