Friday, October 2, 2020

How a “Hidden Stigmatic” Can Help Our Embattled Priests


Wanda Boniszewska Poland saints clergy Catholic nuns stigmatics

Sr. Wanda Boniszewska (1907-2003) was a Polish nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Angels, who offered herself for the sanctification of priests. Beginning in the 1930s, she bore the stigmata. From 1950-58, she was held in a Soviet prison camp in the Urals. She was then repatriated to Poland. She died March 2, 2003 in Konstanciń, a suburb of Warsaw.

I learned of Sr. Wanda shortly after her death when I read Ukryta stygmatyczka (“The Hidden Stigmatic”), a book by the late Father Jan Pryszmont. With limited experience in the theology of spirituality and learning that Father Pryszmont lived perhaps 15 minutes away from me in Warsaw, I paid him a visit.

I’m told Pryszmont was her confessor. I had heard of him as a professor at the Academy of Catholic Theology (now the Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński University) in Warsaw. Boniszewska and Pryszmont had apparently met in Vilnius. Lithuania’s forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union and Sr. Wanda’s being a Polish nun both contributed to her internment. But that’s another story.

Pryszmont showed me her massive (600 page) spiritual diary, a typed manuscript of which he preserved, and shared with me some photographs of Sr. Wanda’s stigmata. I also noted that the preface to his book had been written by Henryk Cardinal Gułbinowicz, the Archbishop of Wrocław, who knew Sr. Wanda from his youth. While I understood that discussion of the case about her sanctity still remains only preliminary, the fact that a seminary/university professor and a cardinal archbishop took it seriously gave me cause to look at it that way, too.  (more...)

How a “Hidden Stigmatic” Can Help Our Embattled Priests


Life on the Cross

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