Italy – A plaque in memory of the Polish Salesian Blessed August Czartoryski

21 September 2021

(ANS - Turin) - A plaque will be unveiled at Valsalice (Turin) on 26 September, 2021, in memory of the Polish Salesian Blessed August Czartoryski (Paris, 2 August 1858 - Alassio, 8 April 1893). He was a novice at the same institute in 1886.

The history of his vocation is remarkable: he was the heir of a family of nobles, the grandson of Prince Adam, called the "Polish king without a crown" who, after the revolt of November 1830, was exiled. Growing up in the residence of the Czartoryski family, the now "Hotel Lambert" in Paris, August was orphaned by his mother, who eventually died of tuberculosis. Unfortunately, the disease also passed on to him. August's godparents were the king and queen of Spain, as August was the son of their daughter Maria Amparo Munoz of Vista Alegre.

For several years his teacher was Jozef Kalinowski, head of the Lithuanian War Department of the National Government during the January 1831 Uprising. The influence of this extraordinary man, the future Carmelite Father Raphael, (later declared a saint), not only strengthened the patriotism of August Czartoryski, but also aroused a religious sensitivity aided his spiritual formation.

For years, August's desire to become a priest was strongly opposed by his father. But August, although physically weak, was adamant and finally obtained permission to enter a new religious congregation: the Salesians of Don Bosco, as he had met the Saint of Youth several times in Paris and was deeply impressed by him.

He arrived in Turin in 1886, but Don Bosco initially refused him entry into the Salesian Society, given his very poor health. Shortly thereafter, however, on the advice of Pope Leo XIII, he accepted him and from that moment the relations between the two were very cordial.

He entered as a novice in Valsalice and received the cassock from Don Bosco on 24 November 1887. Two months later Don Bosco died, and August, right at his tomb, took his religious vows. For health reasons he was transferred to Liguria and later to Sanremo; on 2 April 1892 he was ordained a priest. On 8 April 1893 he died in Alassio at just 34 years of age. His body rests in the Salesian Institute of Przemyśl, Poland.

He was beatified by John Paul II on April 25, 2004.

Thanks to his exemplary life, many polish young men joined the Salesians, and among them was Cardinal August Hlond, who became Primate of Poland.

The ceremony next Sunday, which will be preceded by a Mass at the chapel of the institute will be followed by the unveiling of the plaque in the courtyard: Wojciech Bakun, Mayor of Przemyśl; Fr Bogdan Nowak, Rector dof the Salesian Institute in Przemyśl; Adrianna Siennicka, Consul General of Poland in Milan; Elzbieta Grzyb, President of the Polish Community of Turi and Eng. Fabrizio Cellino, the financier of the tombstone. Some members of the Czartoryski family are also expected to grace the event.

The bronze medallion in the center of the tombstone, with the image of the blessed, is the work of the Turin sculptor Daniele Accossato.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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