On March 7-11, 2019, the Postulator General of the Conventual Franciscans, Friar Damian PĂTRAȘCU, visited Poland Slovakia and Hungary at the invitation of the Ministers Provincial of the Federatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO).
In Poland, Friar Damian met with Friar Jan HRUSZOWIEC, the person responsible for spreading the cult of the Blessed Martyrs of Peru, Friars Michał TOMASZEK and Zbigniew STRZAŁKOWSKI, OFM Conv.
He also visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, notorious for the murder of countless Jews and others, in particular, our confrere St. Maximilian M. KOLBE.
In the days that followed, Friar Damian traveled to the friary in Brehov, Slovakia, where he conducted a seminar on spreading the “reputation of holiness” and on the “Our Fathers in the Faith” project. The seminar was attended by friars from all of the Provinces, Custodies and Delegations in the FEMO Federation: Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Lithuania.
In Trebišov, Slovakia, the Postulator took part in a Mass presided over by the Most Reverend Bernard BOBER, Archbishop of Košice, Slovakia. Those concelebrating included the Most Reverend Edward KAVA, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lviv of the Latins, in the Ukraine, the Most Reverend Antal MAJNEK, Bishop of Mukačevo, in the Ukraine, and all of the priests working in the Diocese of Košice. In his homily, Bishop BOBER spoke at length about the life of Friar Stefan Elias IGLÓDY, OFM Conv, who was martyred by the Calvinists, along with other friars, on November 6, 1639. Afterwards, there was a symposium organized in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of Friar Stefan.
In honor of Friar Stefan, Friar Damian visited the parish in Rad, Slovakia, where Friar Stefan’s mortal remains were discovered ten years ago. Friar Damian celebrated Mass there with the participation of the Pastor, Father Roland BÖÖR. It is worth noting the great work that this priest does to make Friar Stefan known. He does it with passion and competence. He has been fascinated by Friar Stefan ever since his tomb was discovered.
On the penultimate day, Friar Damian went to Miskolc, Hungary, where he watched a documentary film about the Servant of God Friar Didak KELEMEN, OFM Conv. The Postulator visited Friar Didak’s tomb and prayed that the cause for his beatification may soon be concluded. It has been in process for three centuries.
Special thanks go to Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK, the Custos of the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Slovakia, for his excellence in organizing this visit.
Friar Damian PĂTRAȘCU, Postulator General