Bogusława Stanowska – Cichoń talks with Fr. prof. Jan Machniak

BOGUSŁAWA STANOWSKA-CICHOŃ: - Why did pope Francis choose such a special moment – his birthday – in order to proclaim heroism of virtues of the God’s servant Jerzy Ciesielski? Did the Holy Father take a liking for radiating with friendliness and smiling Fr. Karol Wojtyła as his friend?

FR. PROF. JAN MACHNIAK: - The process of Jerzy Ciesielski – a professor of the Polytechnics in Kraków and an engineer inventor in the sphere of compressed concrete – has been taking place since the 90s of the last century. The God’s servant Jerzy belonged to the first students of Fr. Karol Wojtyła in the Academic Pastoral Group in the church of St. Florian in Kraków. He was in the group which had discussions under the supervision of Fr. Karol about what the marriage, love of a man and a woman, parenthood, bringing up children were…Shortly speaking – who is a Christian and how he can give a testimony of faith in Jesus Christ in the contemporary world. The position of heroism of virtues of the God’s servant Jerzy Ciesielski had already been prepared during John Paul’s II life. Proclaiming of the decree about the heroism of virtues brings his beatification day closer. Pope Francis has surely got to know with the person of the servant of God and it is not surprising that he got impressed by the person of the candidate for altars: a layman who gave a beautiful testimony of life with Christ and His commandments at the time of communism.

– What does the Holy Father want to draw attention to particularly when pointing to the person of Jerzy Ciesielski – a professor, husband and father of family?

– In the person of Jerzy Ciesielski we can see a beautiful example of an ordinary Christian who is walking along a road of Divine commandments and is realizing his happiness in his professional and family life. God’s servant Jerzy is an example for every man how to live with Christ. He shows that career, success in an engineer’s and inventor’s work are not obstacles in his Christian life – in his honesty, faithfulness to ideals, in family life…

– What is particularly fascinating in the person of Jerzy Ciesielski for the Church of the new millennium?

– The servant of God, Jerzy Ciesielski was a beautiful man, not only in this literal sense about which we mean today: tall, handsome, intelligent, gallant. Jerzy had a very rich interior: he prayed, always had the Holy Scripture with himself at university, he read it in free time, every day he tried to participate in the Holy Mass. He cared about his family, loved his wife and was faithful to her when he was at home and when he went abroad for a contract, in order to earn money for his family. He was intensively working on himself. Even during his journey to Chartum (Sudan), where he worked as a professor, he found a church and participated in the Holy Mass every week.

– What is his spirituality like, does it corresponds to the contemporary times in which people devote less and less time for a prayer and inner formation? What should we learn from the God’s servant in the work on ourselves?

– Jerzy Ciesielski shows how to realize holiness, that is, love to God and people in ordinary conditions of everyday life. He confirms that one can be a sportsman – he played handball and volleyball in Cracovia, he went skiing, he went sailing and climbed mountains – as well as he showed how to love Christ and be faithful to Him. He shows how to love one’s family and devote all one’s strength to it and realize one’s interests and hobbies.

– Jerzy Ciesielski is a patron who is still being discovered – he is the patron of, among the others, the Association of Catholic Families of the Archdiocese of Kraków, engineers, scientists pray through his intercession, believers entrust him their family matters. What is necessary for the process to be completed?

– Jerzy Ciesielski is known not only in Kraków today, but in whole Poland. What was a nice surprise for me, was the fact that the Holy Father John Paul II had his photo in Vatican. A miracle is needed to the end of the process, therefore, we have to ask God for this grace through the intercession of the servant of God Jerzy. I trust that there will be this miracle and that we will experience beatification of the servant of God Jerzy Ciesielski soon, maybe even during the World Youth Days in Kraków.


"Niedziela" 5/2014

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: