Nachrichten - News - Noticias
 published: 2007-10-26

I Came to Set the Earth on Fire

Bishop Ignazy Jez was buried in Kolobrzeg. Great participation from the Schoenstatt Family from Poland and other countries

 

Mons. Ignazy Jez 1914 - 2007

 

Mons. Ignazy Jez 1914 - 2007

Bishop Ignazy Jez 1914 – 2007

Mons. Ignazy Jez 1914 - 2007

Foto: Archiv © 2007

 

Gebet für Bischof Jez im Heiligtum

Oraciones por Mons. Jez en el Santuario

Prayers for Bishop Jez in the Shrine

Gebet für Bischof Jez im Heiligtum

 
Ein letzter Besuch in „seinem“ Heiligtum in Koszalin  

Una ultima visita a „su“ Santuario de Koszalin

A last visit of “his” Shrine in Koszalin

Ein letzter Besuch in „seinem“ Heiligtum in Koszalin

 
Familie Lech mit dem Kranz der Schönstatt-Bewegung  

El matrimonio Lech con la corona del Movimiento de Schoenstatt

The Lech with the wreath of the Schoenstatt Movement

Familie Lech mit dem Kranz der Schönstatt-Bewegung

 
von Bischof Jez in Kolobrzeg ( Kolberg)  

Funeral de Mons. Jez in Kolobrzeg

Funeral for Bishop Jez in Kolobrzeg

von Bischof Jez in Kolobrzeg ( Kolberg)

 
von Bischof Jez in Kolobrzeg ( Kolberg)

Funeral de Mons. Jez in Kolobrzeg

Funeral for Bishop Jez in Kolobrzeg

von Bischof Jez in Kolobrzeg ( Kolberg)

Fotos:  Malgorzata  Jasinska © 2007

 
 

Vigilia en el Santuario de Swider

Vigil in the Shrine in Swider

Vigil im Heiligtum in Swider

Foto: www.szensztat.pl © 2007

 

 

 

POLAND, mkf. When Bishop Ignazy Jez was twelve years old, an event marked his life. He enjoyed speaking of this event frequently. Bishop Jez recently died in Rome on October 16th. At the age of twelve, he saw a baby fall from a second-story window. At the same time, a beggar was passing by. He was carrying a large bag of rags and it was precisely there where the child fell unharmed. It was an experience which prepared the fertile ground where the Schoenstatt message of practical faith in Divine Providence could fall and bear fruit – and this happened in the Concentration Camp of Dachau. The Polish Schoenstatt Family expressed its gratitude for Bishop Jez during its October triduum. Many were also present at his burial in the Kolobrzeg Cathedral.

Was he thinking of the event he witnessed at age 12 when he was arrested and sent to Dachau in 1942? Did he perhaps sense that the God of life awaited him there with open arms?

Bishop Jez was born in Radomysl Wielki on July 31, 1914. Due to the referendum in Silesia, his father, a judge, was transferred to Kattowitz in Poland. Ignazy Jez attended elementary and high school there. In 1932, after completing his bachelor’s degree, he entered the diocesan seminary of Kattowitz. He studied theology at the Jagellon University in Croatia. He was ordained a priest on June 20, 1937. For five years he was a chaplain in Hajduki Wielkie and experienced there the beginning of the Second World War. He was arrested by the Gestapo on August 17, 1942…..the reason: he had presided at the funeral of the pastor who had died in a concentration camp. He entered the Concentration Camp of Dachau on October 7, 1942 and remained a prisoner there until the arrival of the American Forces on April 29, 1945. He encountered Schoenstatt in Dachau. Although the Polish priests were prohibited from having anything to do with the German priests, this arrangement was often ridiculed in many cases. Father Ignazy Jez took a great interest in the Schoenstatt spirituality, but there was a problem…..

Consecration on May 3, 1944, feast day of the Queen of Poland

"At that time in Dachau, the idea of Daughter Shrines was a great help to me," relates Father Kentenich in 1963, at a meeting in Milwaukee. "I have already told you that while in Dachau I also had contact with the outside. There were many Poles there who were interested in Schoenstatt, but there was a problem: it came from Germany. You can understand this well: there was nothing more to say. But, when the first Daughter Shrine came forth in Uruguay and since this had been so positive, I could propose to the Poles: You do not have to go to Germany. If you have a Shrine, like in the case of Uruguay, then you will have Schoenstatt at home." One of those Polish priests was Fr. Ignazy Jez. Along with Fr. Boleslao Brurian, he consecrated himself to the Blessed Mother on May 3, 1944, feast day of the Queen of Poland. In his prayer of consecration he said: "Today, in great confidence, we give ourselves to your Immaculate Heart with the hope that You will lead us on the path which guarantees us eternal joy. Amen."

Father Fischer introduced them to Schoenstatt and prepared them for the consecration, but the immediate preparation was done by Father Kentenich himself. On the three previous days to the ceremony, he spoke to them about the consecration as a decision, as a mission and as a covenant. When some of the priests began to lean toward the meaning of Federation, Fr. Ignazy Jez became a part of the "Circle of the hand" of the Schoenstatt priests. They all received a medal which had been fashioned in a workshop at the concentration camp. Fr. Ignazy preserved it faithfully for many years. Throughout his long life, he remained faithful to the Covenant of Love, to Schoenstatt, and to Father Kentenich.

Pope John Paul II blessed a Schoenstatt Shrine in Poland

After being chaplain to the prisoners and the deported Poles in Germany, he returned to Poland in May of 1946 and was put in charge of various tasks in schools and in the seminary. During the time of the communist domination, the Church suffered many difficulties. On April 20, 1960, Fr. Ignazy Jez was named auxiliary bishop of the Gorzow (Landsberg) Diocese. He participated in the Second Vatican Council. In 1967, along with other Polish bishops, he visited in Schoenstatt his paternal friend and spiritual director in Dachau, Father Kentenich.

On June 28, 1972, the new Polish diocese of Kozalin Kolobrzeg was created and Bishop Ignazy Jez was its first bishop. He chose as his motto: "I Came to Set the Earth on fire" (Lk 12,49), referring to his holy patron, St. Ignatius. He had to totally organize his new diocese and even against the state’s resistance, he erected more than one hundred new parishes, renovated the Kozalin and Kolobrzeg Cathedrals and built a seminary. These areas were already protestant since before the war.

Pope John Paul II visited his diocese in June of 1991 and Bishop Jez succeeded in have the Pope bless the new Schoenstatt Shrine built there. This is an event which still resounds today in the Polish Schoenstatt Family and beyond.

A paternal friend of the Schoenstatt Family in Poland

"Yes, of course I remember him. I went to pick him up at the airport in Ezeiza and took him to New Schoenstatt," was the spontaneous reaction from a woman from Argentina upon hearing the news of the death of Bishop Jez. "He was a happy and charming person. No one would have imagined that he had been in Dachau for several years. He reminded me of Father Kentenich," expressed Simon Donnely from South Africa. Donnely is studying theology in Rome. "I met him here in Rome in 2004. He made a presentation at our seminary. It was an impressive experience. He was a very holy man. It really moved me to hear him tell about the priestly ordination of Carl Leisner. A priest from the Kosalin Diocese who had been in Rome told me yesterday morning how he along with many other persons had sung and prayed at his tomb. A great loss for the Church in Poland and a great profit for heaven!"

The Polish Schoenstatt Family gathered in Swider from the 19th to the 21st of October to celebrate their annual triduum. On Saturday, they prayed at the Shrine there. Last year they celebrated its 25th Jubilee. Bishop Jez was very happily there. He was always a paternal friend to the Polish Schoenstatt Family. In the evening, during the banquet, they exchanged remembrances. In a country in which probably no one from the Schoenstatt Family was able to personally know Father Kentenich and in a country which for decades was under communist domination, and therefore, there were few possibilities to have contact with Schoenstatt…..yet Bishop Jez was a living testimony of the Founder.

With joy he would relate the story of a child who found an old man in the forest. The man asked the child if he was afraid in the forest. No, he answered, my mother is close by. At the same time, he asked the man, are you afraid? No, replied the old man. My Heavenly Mother is also close by.

He always made time, at least during table, to participate in the meetings of the Girls’ Youth in his diocese, someone recalled. Sometimes there were not enough table settings or chairs, but he had no problem sitting with the girls on a simple bench. He liked to hear what each one of them did. So you are studying Business, he would say to one of them. In the future we will have a good economist in Schoenstatt. Thanks to Schoenstatt, you will do well in your professions, he would say, since Shoenstatt wants to educate everyday saints who will be good Christians in their respective professions and good supports for the Church and society. In his conversations with the youth, he would also ask about life in their parishes. He knew the priests, he knew how they were, and he showed interest in everything.

Spread my fire

The coffin with the mortal remains of Bishop Jez was transferred from Rome to Poland where he was laid to rest. On October 21st – anniversary of Father Kentenich’s petition regarding the transfer of the Shrine of the Mater Ter Admirabilis to the Apostolic Federation in 1919 – the coffin arrived at "his" Shrine, the Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt on Mount Chelmska in Koszalin. It is the Shrine which his great friend, John Paul II, had blessed sixteen years earlier. At the funeral in Kolobrzeg, the Schoenstatt Family offered a great floral crown with two intertwined hearts: one heart in the heart of the Blessed Mother, of Father, and of the Heavenly Father.

The year’s motto of the Polish Schoenstatt Family would have made him happy: "Spread my fire from the Shrine."

The Schoenstatt Family from throughout the world is grateful to a faithful Schoenstatter and friend of Father Kentenich for his testimony and his commitment.

With material from www.szensztat.pl, Karl Heinz Mengedodt, and "Prisoner # 29392" by Fr. Engelbert Monnerjahn. The quote from Father Kentenich was taken from the collection of texts "Organism of the Shrines," by Fr. Michael Marmann in 1984.

Translation: Carlos Cantú Family Federation La Feria, Texas USA 111307

 

 

Zurück/Back: [Seitenanfang / Top] [letzte Seite / last page] [Homepage]
Impressum © 2007 Schönstatt-Bewegung in Deutschland, PressOffice Schönstatt, all rights reserved, Mail: Editor /Webmaster
Last Update: 16.11.2007