23 January 2017

Jan Tyranowski: Another Layman on the Way toward Beatification


On Saturday, 20 January, Pope Francis authorized the promulgation of the decree of heroic virtues of the Servant of God Jan Tyranowski, a Polish layman from Krakow, who played an important role in the life of saint Pope John Paul II. He was born on 9 February 1901 and died on 15 March 1947. Thus, his life coincided with the darkest period of European history, marked by two world wars. However, he is a shining example of Christian life, lived in great simplicity, in the midst of the normal tasks of his work in the family’ tailor shop and parish work.

After receiving a solid Catholic education in his family, his life took a decisive turn in 1935, when he heard a sermon on holiness in the parish church of the Salesians. At that moment, he felt dazzled by the words of the preacher and decided to embark on a radical path toward holiness. This holiness is expressed especially in the animation of activity for the young of his Salesian parish, so intense that during the second world war, when almost all the priests of the parish were deported, he was the reference point of a hundred young people. After the war, his activity developed into a true school of formation for formators, thus preparing the next generation of the diocese’s lay catechists, imbued with his rich spirituality. Jan’s personality and constancy, together with the depth of his inner life nourished by the Carmelite spirituality, attracted many young people. Among them, the young Karol Wojtyła, who as Pope described him—in the book “Gift and Mystery”—as a man with a “very deep spirituality,” who introduced him to the works of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.

Tyranowski was an evangelist who always preferred personal conversations; he was a man who knew how to put into practice person-to-person proclamation, in an apostolate appropriate for all people in a daily commitment.