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Issue 04 – Septuagesima 2021

Historia Ecclesiastica

Sandal Blisters

A meditation on the family.


Captain Wojtyła, his son Lolek recalls, was a man “of constant prayer”: an attentive and openly devout father who prayed the rosary with his young son and took him on pilgrimage the year after the boy’s mother, Emilia, died. It was his father’s faith that inspired Lolek to pursue a call to the priesthood. Though the two of them never spoke openly of the possibility of Lolek’s vocation, Lolek tell us that “his example was in a way my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary.” These reminiscences can be found in Lolek’s book Gift and Mystery, published under the name by which he is perhaps better known, Pope John Paul II. The cause for canonization of Karol Wojtyła, Sr., and his wife Emilia opened in May of last year, six years after the canonization of their son the pope. “The Wojtyłas,” Father Paweł Rytel-Andrianik of the Polish Bishops Conference has said, “were able to create such an atmosphere at home and form children in such a way that they became outstanding people.” 

Much as each age gets the politicians it deserves, each generation of the Church, more happily, gets the saints it needs. The example of the Wojtyłas is a timely reminder to the Body of Christ that if it is true that the glory of God is a human being fully alive, then saints are formed just as human beings are formed: within the community of love we call the family. 

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