Rev. Bishop Albin Małysiak talks with Marcin Witan.
Mediateka CMJPII’s interview [Audio document].
This interview was recorded in Cracow on 15. June 2008.
This study was published here on 2. July 2022, i.e., on the first Saturday in July.
This study consists of three parts, namely:
Dr. Wojciech Kosek
“Another manifestation of piety. There is the beatification of Blessed Karolina Kózkówna in Tarnów. The day was a bit so heavy – it was a little steamy. The service lasted more than two hours, err, excuse me, it lasted more than three hours. At the beatification, the Litany to All Saints is recited. Cardinal Wojtyła, even though he had a kneeler next to him, knelt on two knees the entire time during this Litany to All Saints. Well, he just gave such a physical effort. The service ended, and everyone, being a little tired, ran away to some point where one could stop. However, I stayed there for a while. At one moment, there was already such emptiness on the field altar. I opened the door to the sacristy, and there was no one there; but there was Wojtyła on a kneeler, who was still praying. He did not have enough of those three hours of prayer. Here is Wojtyła; here is his piety.”
It is worth adding here that St. John Paul II, who on the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima (13. May 1917) was miraculously saved from death at the hands of an assassin, understood his Marian devotion not only as entrusting himself to Her protection but also as imitating Mary in Her love for Jesus. He wrote in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, No. 55:
There is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived “through the Holy Spirit” was “the Son of God” (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin’s faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine. […] And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?
Just as the Immaculate Mary kept being with Jesus just born, who was with Her physically, in the flesh, Saint John Paul II also used to keep being with Jesus who came in Holy Communion to him and physically, in the flesh, was with him.
“The Fatima Pope” – as St. John Paul II was called – while continuing his prayer after the Holy Mass, was fulfilling in his life of faith what the first “Fatima Pope,” Pius XII, wrote in 1947 in his encyclical Mediator Dei,  No. 126-127 (Pope Pius XII was the one who recognized the truth of the Fatima apparitions of Mary and who, in 1942, was the first to entrust the world to Her Immaculate Heart):
“Why then, Venerable Brethren, should we not approve of those who, when they receive holy communion, remain on in closest familiarity with their divine Redeemer even after the congregation has been officially dismissed, and that not only for the consolation of conversing with Him, but also to render Him due thanks and praise and especially to ask help to defend their souls against anything that may lessen the efficacy of the sacrament and to do everything in their power to cooperate with the action of Christ who is so intimately present. We exhort them to do so in a special manner by carrying out their resolutions, by exercising the Christian virtues, as also by applying to their own necessities the riches they have received with royal Liberality. The author of that golden book The Imitation of Christ certainly speaks in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the liturgy, when he gives the following advice to the person who approaches the altar, Remain on in secret and take delight in your God; for He is yours whom the whole world cannot take away from you (Book IV, c. 12.). Therefore, let us all enter into closest union with Christ and strive to lose ourselves, as it were, in His most holy soul and so be united to Him that we may have a share in those acts with which He adores the Blessed Trinity with a homage that is most acceptable […].”
At a time when the Church is subjected to a particularly intensive test from non-believers, despite the Church’s strenuous evangelization efforts, it is worth considering these words of the Pope’s instruction, which have their source in God, in His kindness to the Church-Bride, and which have now been shown to us in the person of Saint John Paul II, in his unadvertised practice of prayer. Namely:
It is worthwhile for every believer who received the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion during the Holy Mass not to regret his time submitting requests to Him immediately after the celebration to remove from the believer’s soul everything detracting from the effectiveness of the Sacrament. For the believer, it is also the best time to ask Jesus to multiply everything in his soul conducive to God’s intense action to enable him to be a good evangelizer, carrying out the mission entrusted to him.
I first heard about the event presented in Rev. Bishop Małysiak’s interview at the Marian shrine in Hałcnów in the summer of 2011, during one of the sermons preached by Rev. Dr. Marek Studenski, director of the Catechetical Department of the Bielsko-Żywiec curia, as part of the monthly Masses following the beatification of John Paul II. The preacher exposed to us the great love of Pope John Paul II for the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.
Hearing the testimony, I understood that our great holy Compatriot had „in his blood” this pious habit of remaining in prayer after the Holy Mass. He, thanks to it, always did so, even in situations where others „justified themselves” by fatigue (as in the event described by Rev. Bishop Małysiak) or „necessity of service for others” or „organizational difficulties” to shorten the meeting with Jesus received in Holy Communion to a sometimes absurdly minimum (for example to a more or less hurried „recitation” of some brief prayer of thanksgiving).
When I heard the preaching of Rev. Mark in Hałcnów, I contacted him asking him to give me the source of this information. However, God willed that the preacher could not recall where it might have been; he only advised me to look for the film interview on the Internet. So I began to search intensively on the Internet, and I had been doing it for a long time, for many days, but, unfortunately, I was helpless – I could not find such a video! I gave up…
However, almost three years later, St. John Paul II helped me find it in no time! In this way, the Holy Pontiff let me know that this interview was really very important, that I should circulate it as a kind of “addendum” to his life and teaching, which was finished during the then-ongoing Year of the Eucharist.
How did it happen that I found this interview? Behold, on Sunday, 27 April 2014, we experienced the canonization of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII. At the time of the canonization, I was at the Sanctuary of St. John Paul II in Kraków. Two hours after the ceremonies, I purchased a songbook with songs in honor of our saintly Pope; a photograph of him is on the cover. Then I had a possibility to put in a deep faith this cover with his picture to the relics of St. John Paul II’s blood, which was built into a slab from the tomb where his body was laid during his burial after his death.
When I got home from Kraków, I put this songbook on the table next to the computer. It turned out that it was not accidental. Behold, a few days later, when I returned home after the Holy Mass at 10 o’clock, I looked at this photograph of St. John Paul II. Suddenly the thought came to me that I should immediately boot up my computer and look on the Internet for a video of Rev. Bishop Albin Małysiak’s interview about John Paul II, about his habit of praying after the Holy Mass. I had an inner conviction that I would now find this video. Moreover, it is what happened – I found this video interview in no time!
Venerable Readers, Sisters, and Brothers in Christ!
I trust that introducing into the personal live of every one of us the devotional practice of Saint John Paul II, described by Rev. Bishop Małysiak, would be a wonderful thanksgiving to God for elevating him to the glory of the altars. It is up to us to ensure that his Eucharistic piety bears fruit in us and among us throughout the Church of Christ.
How wonderful it would be if the faithful heard from their earliest years what I was taught before First Early Communion by my catechist, the late Emilia Bogacz. She, who had more than one occasion to meet Cardinal Wojtyła and draw from his Eucharistic spirituality, said to us years ago, „Children, do not leave the church immediately after the Holy Mass, but stay at least 15-20 minutes to talk with the Lord Jesus!”
Let God bless all of you!
Dr. Wojciech Kosek
On my website, I have been publishing for years the collected statements of the Church’s Fathers, Popes of the 20th and 21st centuries, Holy See, and saints emphasizing the salutariness of the practice of „thanksgiving” after the Eucharist → click here, please!
To this collection today, I am attaching an excerpt from that long-sought interview in which Rev. Bishop Albin Małysiak testified about what happened after the beatification in Tarnów…