St Ignatius Loyola’s motto “adiuvare animas” – “to help souls” in their return to God the Creator and Saviour – got deeply into Father Beyzym’s heart. He dedicated all his life, as a monk and as a priest, to the greater glory of God and greater help for souls. He humbly connected the care for the souls with his own salvation. Father frequently asked Krakow Carmelites to intercede for him with Our Holy Mother, so he could take to Her heaven throne the souls entrusted to him and not to be perished forever. He reminded the Carmelites that their goal in the Church is to save dying souls.
TO SERVE AND HELP TILL SALVATION
He was appalled with the dying souls vision. Father went to Madagascar to save not only bodies, but, first of all, souls. He craved to go to the island of Sakhalin for the apostolic reason to serve and help to save the souls of the poorest brothers. Father had the same feeling of love and loyalty for the lepers and prisoners in his priestly heart. He was ready to serve both of the groups in accordance with the will of God, which in the spirit of faith, he saw in his provincials’ orders.
Father Beyzym experienced the constant fear for souls that die in sins or were exposed to sins in the lepers’ colonies. He craved to build the leprosarium, for his “birds” were not only deprived of the proper medical care, but lived in the conditions of constant occasions to sin. That was why Father struggled to build the hospital with the sex separation.
TO SUFFER FOR THE SOULS SALVATION
Father Beyzym was ready to pay any sacrificial price for the soul. He was ready to suffer for their salvation. Father asked Our Lady for “the leprosy for himself” only to be able to beg for the salvation of his patients and to introduce the sex separation in the leprosarium, as debauchery was commonplace there and souls perished.
He complained to Mother Prioress of the Carmel in Lobzow that the leprosarium construction had been delayed by Bishop Jean-Baptiste Cazet and it resulted in the material loss and the salvation loss the souls were exposed to. Father missed the day when he would open the hospital so he could gain a lot of souls for Our Lord. He wished he could have opened the leprosarium sooner! There could have been so many sins less. Father cared to have as many patients in Marana as possible, so he could gain as many souls for God as he could. Thus, he continuously and humbly asked everybody to support him with donations.
Father Beyzym wrote to Father Stanislaw Hankiewicz: “My biggest worry is that so many souls perish miserably and I cannot save them. The leprosarium is critical”. His devouring zeal for the souls protection tormented him and was the driving force in his efforts with regard to the leprosarium construction speed up as well as his departure to Sakhalin. At all costs – praying, suffering, begging, Father wanted to gather donations, mainly from Poland, so that his patients were not exposed to sins and the loss of salvation. He was deeply concerned with the children, who did not know Our Lord yet, but who looking up at the adults, learned to offend Him.
The fate of Sakhalin prisoners were like stones in his heart. The Poles, Catholics were among them too. He wanted to go there himself. It was important for somebody to go there to help the souls that “perish in this hell on earth” after all. The Sakhalin mission should have been led to the effect. It was “a living hell there” and he himself was ready to suffer any suffering for the souls salvation. He urged Father Marcin Czerminski to speed up his departure to Sakhalin at any means. He felt that the soul salvation there, at that moment, was more important than in Marana. Father Beyzym asked Mary day and night for his departure to Sakhalin for the soul salvation. He wanted to be there to serve and to help. Together with the Carmelites he asked Our Lord Jesus and Mary for the trip. Father saw the glory of God and the good of souls in it. “To Sakhalin! As quickly as possible, to save the souls on the island as they perish helpless!”
EVERY SOUL IS VALUABLE IN THE EYES OF GOD
Craving to save many souls, especially those, who were entrusted to him, those who were exposed to sinning and Father knew about that, he also took care of the individual souls. One girl, named Gabriella, was transferred from Ambahivoraka asylum to the government asylum. She was so heartbroken in those new and harsh conditions that she fell into sin. Father Beyzym remembered about her, prayed for her and pleaded on her behalf to Mary. The girl managed to get to the new leprosarium to Marana, to the care of Father Beyzym. He was very happy for her and surrounded her with kindness and mercy. He asked the Carmelites from Lobzow to pray for her as every soul is precious in the eyes of God. Father learned from St Ignatius that it was worth to sacrifice everything, even ones own life to save a man from a mortal sin.
In the last hours of the lives of his ”birds”, at the moment they left this world, Father Beyzym surrounded them with special care and attention. He hurried to them any time, day and night, being concerned that nobody could die without sacraments. If he managed to baptize an adult person or a child before their death, he was very happy as their souls got to heaven.
In his apostolic zeal for souls salvation Father Beyzym also thought about his own merits for heaven. He wanted, in accordance with the order’s goal, to seek with the grace of God for his own salvation and perfection, as well as the salvation and perfection for the fellow men.
Father Beyzym with his faith, hope and love, with his love for Jesus and the souls redeemed with His blood, with the desire for the eternal good for the neighbour, was completely immersed in the zeal for their salvation. His whole life was Apostolic – to help souls.
Fr Mieczysław Bednarz SJ