Pope Francis expressed deep sorrow over the death of Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Archbishop emeritus of Krakow, who died on Tuesday, 2 August, at 9:37 am. In a telegram addressed to his successor, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, the Pontiff recalled that the episcopal motto of the deceased prelate – Jesus, I trust in you! – which guided his life and his ministry, “today, in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, it has become an eloquent invocation which proclaims the fulfillment of the work that the Lord had entrusted to him in Baptism, introducing him into the ranks of the sealed with His Redeeming Blood, and later together with the gift of priesthood, when he sent him with the task of sanctifying the People with the word and with the grace of the sacraments”.
Cardinal Macharkki “carried out this mission zealously”, the Pope emphasized, “as pastor, professor, rector of the Seminary, until the day in which the Lord asked him to assume the task of the legacy St Stanislaw and of his immediate predecessor Karol Wojtyla, today St John Paul II, in the episcopal see of Krakow. With trust in the Divine Mercy he carried out this work as father for the priests and for the faithful entrusted to his care. He guided the Church in Krakow in the difficult period of political and social transformation, with wisdom, with a healthy separation from reality, concerning himself with respect for each person, for the good of the community of the Church, and above all to keep faith alive in the hearts of mankind”.
Referring to his travels for World Youth Day, the Pope expressed gratitude “to Providence, that I was able to visit him during my recent journey to Krakow. In the last phase of life he was greatly tried by suffering which he accepted with peace of mind. Even in this trial”, Francis contniued, “he remained a faithful witness to confidence in the goodness and the mercy of God. He will thus remain in my memory and prayers. May the Lord welcome him into his glory!”.
During his meeting with the Polish episcopate during his visit to Krakow for World Youth Day, the Pontiff remembered Cardinal Macharski and asked the bishops to pray for him. Franciszek Macharski was born on 20 May 1927 in Krakow. He was ordained a priest on 2 April 1950 and was appointed Archbishop of Krakow on 29 December 1978, as the direct successor of Karol Wojtyła, who as John Paul II ordained him bishop on 6 January 1979 and created him Cardinal in the Consistory of 30 June 1979, assigning him the Title of San Giovanni a Porta Latina. Cardinal Macharski resigned from his office as Archbishop of Krakow on 3 June 2005.
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