RMG - 150th anniversary, birth of Servant of God Ignatius Stuchlý

12 December 2019

(ANS - Rome) - Saturday, 14 December, 150 years have passed since the birth of the Servant of God Ignác Stuchlý, which occurred in 1869 in Bolesław, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

His parents had an unshakable faith and little Ignazio imbued himself of this environment. From elementary school he heard his excellent teacher John Kolibaj talking about the priesthood and he felt its charm. This dream began to materialize at the age of 22 when he was addressed to the Salesians and it was Father Rua who welcomed him in Turin. His ardent desire was to leave for the missions, but one day Fr Rua enigmatically said to him: "Your mission will be in the North!"

He was first sent to Gorizia, at the time a city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He taught gymnasium boarders and at the same time studied Theology. In 1901 he was ordained a priest. While maintaining his many commitments, he begins to be talked about as a spiritual director and confessor.

In 1910 he was sent to Ljubljana (Slovenia), and despite difficulties he managed to feed many young people, support the novitiate, and complete the sanctuary.

In 1925 the superiors sent him to Perosa Argentina (Turin) to start a center in favor of aspirants from Bohemia and Moravia. He spent three years in a situation of great poverty and when it became necessary to transfer these young people to their homeland, he was still appointed in charge of them. He left for Frysˇták (Czech Republic).

A fortunate vocational development led the superiors to make Czechoslovakia an autonomous province. Fr Stuchlý was the first Provincial. It was 1935. In a few years he made the nascent Province flourish: after four years, the confreres were about 400. When the Czechoslovak Province split into two (Slovakia and Bohemia-Moravia) Fr Stuchlý continued to be responsible for the latter.

Terrible years came with Nazism and the Second World War: houses seized by the Nazis, Salesians sent to forced labor. The "grandpa" (as Fr Ignatius was now called) was the safe and trustworthy point of reference, strengthening faith and hope in his confreres and working with charity for the weakest.

With the advent of communism the Salesian works were seized, the brothers enrolled or dispersed. Fr Stuchlý suddenly saw the work he had consecrated his life to destroyed. Forty days before the fateful "Night of the Barbarians", in March 1950, he was struck by a stroke: he then spent the last three years of his life, first in the Zlín nursing home, then in Lukov, a de facto prisoner.

The most lively esteem that he had always aroused in his superiors and his great capacity to love and be loved, flourish more than ever in a reputation for holiness. He died peacefully on the evening of 17 January 1953.

The cause of beatification of Fr. Stuchlý continues and the recognition of heroic virtues is imminent.

More information on the website in 4 languages: https://istuchly.cz/ 


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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