Bl. Honoratus Kozminski
on the 100th anniversary of his death
Blessed Honorat was born on October 16, 1829 in Biala Podlaska (Poland). He was the son of Stefan Kozminski and Aleksandra Kahlowa and at baptism, was given the name of Wenceslaus. At the age of 11, Wenceslaus began his secondary school education and it was during this time that he lost his faith. He graduated in 1844 and enrolled in the Department of Architecture at the Warsaw School of Fine Arts.
In 1845, he lost his father and in April 1846, he was arrested and sent to prison with his friends for conspiring against the Russians, who at the time occupied Poland. In a prison cell, Wenceslaus experienced a spiritual upheaval. His faith was renewed and in a mysterious way, as he will say, a divine order was introduced into his soul. “The Mother of God,” he wrote in his spiritual journal, “having been moved by the prayers of my mother… interceded for me with the Lord; thus it was that He came to me in my prison cell and gently led me to the faith.” After eleven months of imprisonment, Wenceslaus was freed and to the great surprise of those who knew him, in 1848 he entered the Capuchin Order, taking the name Honoratus.
After professing vows and finishing his philosophical and theological studies, he was ordained a priest. As a priest, he began an enthusiastic and zealous apostolic activity in Warsaw. He was an indefatigable confessor and preacher. In his pastoral work he strongly promoted Third Order of St. Francis and the circles of the “Living Rosary.” A real test came to him and those with him on the night of November 27, 1864, when the Capuchin friary in Warsaw was shut down by the persecutors. The failed 1864 revolt against Czar Alexander III led to the suppression of all religious Orders in Poland. The friars were given a choice: either freely depart from the Polish territory occupied by Russians or remain there without any prospects of public activity or development. Father Honorat’s decision was clear: “It is here that God wishes to have us…therefore it is here that we shall work.” The Capuchins were expelled from Warsaw and forced to live in Zakroczym, where Honoratus continued his ministry and began founding twenty-six male and female religious congregations, whose members took vows but wore no religious habit and did not live in community. They operated much as today’s secular institutes do. Seventeen of these groups still exist as religious congregations.[ more]
What is the” Living Rosary?”
The Living Rosary Association is a spiritual organisation, which was founded by Pauline Jaricot in France during the 19th Century. The primary aim of its members is to recite a specified decade of the Rosary each day. It is organised into groups or circles. Each circle consists of 20 people. The obligation of each member of the circle is to recite a specified decade of the Holy Rosary each day. In this way the group collectively prays the complete 20 decades of the Rosary each day. All the members thus share in the graces associated with this whole spiritual undertaking.[go to page]
Bl. Honoratus Kozminski. 2016. Bl. Honoratus Kozminski. [ONLINE] Available at: http://stevenwood.com/reflections/franciscan/1216-23.htm. [Accessed 16 December 2016].