Jan Beyzym worked in Chyriv more than 10 years. For a short period of time he fulfilled the duties of French and Russian teacher in the Scientific and Educational Institution established by Jesuit Fathers in Chyriv. He also fulfilled the responsibilities of the Divisional Prefect and Tutor. For about 8 years Father Beyzym fulfilled the duties of the Infirmary Prefect (infirmary - a place for the treatment of the sick or injured; dispensary; hospital). A lot of the Chyriv school alumni remembered him and wrote about him. Thanks to his care for the sick school students, Father was known as a true father and an educator. Father Beyzym knew young people perfectly well. He knew their strong and weak points, their way of thinking, was influential with them and students placed confidence in him.

In the monograph of Father Ludwik Grzebień SJ titled “Blessed Jan Bezyzm”, in Chapter 8 “Work in Chyriv”, we find a description of one of many cases that show us, how easily Father found the way out of a difficult situation:

“Once the VI grade student was delirious from fever. He demanded from Fr. S. Majewski, who looked after him, to take him to the ship, because he wanted to sail to America. All the explanations and prayers were of no effect. The sick student would get out of bed, get dressed and wanted to leave the ward. And here, Father Beyzym entered the room. He immediately sensed the situation and asked the sick:

And where our friend is going?

To find my boat, - the answer was.

Very well, I am the captain of your boat. Let’s go together!

He took the boy in his arms and carried him into another ward. Father put the boy onto a bed, took a seat by him and said:

Ok, here we are. Welcome to our boat. And now, departure time.

The astonished student agreed with Father and calmed down completely”.

Czesław Długołęcki, a former Chyriv student, wrote in 1937 in ‘‘Przegląd Chyrowski” (Chyriv Review): “The childhood memories that float before my eyes remind me the fairy tales about the winged hussars, about the battles for the independence of Poland, which we were so eager to listen to lying in our infirmary beds. Nobody would believe that the son of the Countess Stadnicka, the man with strong Mongolian facial features, could here, in Chyriv, substitute the mother’s care so skilfully and efficiently.

During the holidays or when there were not many ill students in the hospital, Father Beyzym used to come to the recreation hall and tell different stories. He told them lively, vividly, with humour and invention. Thanks to his story-telling abilities, he easily cheered up the school youth during the time of illness and loneliness. He possessed the gift of the narrator, telling us about different historic events, relevant jokes, fairy tales and sayings, which later were published in the school newspaper. During their free time boys listened to him eagerly and he was narrating so vividly, with such imagination and gusto that not only boys, but adults also listened to him with the great interest. He sometimes used to tell one story for a couple of days, usually one hour a day. Those stories remained in the memory of students, who kept the contact with him by mail when he was alive. They wrote in their memories after his death about the devotion of Father’s, about his influence on them.

Stefan Hankiewicz, the judge from Niżankowice, wrote that Father Beyzym hated hypocrisy and “honeying”. He recalled that Father used to read them “With Fire and Sword” (“Ogniem i mieczem”), “Mister Mark’s Adventures” (“Przygody pana Marka”), “Agapit” “ex cathedra”. He read lively gesticulating. No high words during the retreats, but directness, naturalness and a warm heart”. He used to give books to the sick – “Let them read”. He took us to his workshop – birds among flowers - “Let them watch”.


Reference: L. Grzebień SJ, „Błogosławiony Jan Beyzym. Człowiek i dzieło” (Blessed Father Jan Beyzym. The Man and His Deed”, WAM Publishing House, Kraków 2014, pp. 118 - 121.

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