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Cardinal Wyszyński about FAMILY

Family News Service / 06.11.2021
fot. Instytut Prymasowski Stefana Kardynała Wyszyńskiego
fot. Instytut Prymasowski Stefana Kardynała Wyszyńskiego

Pearls and Aphorisms of Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński about FAMILY.

Men and Fathers

  1. Fatherhood is a great honor, a great proof of God’s trust. For all fatherhood on earth comes from God’s fatherhood, and the fulfillment of a father’s duties resembles God’s fatherhood so much that we are convinced that our fathers are the representatives of God’s will for us.[i]
  2. In a man’s soul masculine values must determine quick decision and expressive will in the process of mental inquiry and great achievements. But woe to the man of great mind and powerful will if he were heartless![ii]

Women and Mothers

  1. No mother works by her own strength, but by a force given to her by God. From the Heavenly Father, she receives the power to nourish children. Therefore, she must make sure that she is completely at the service of God’s children with these forces. How much each mother should be attentive to become for her children an image of the heavenly Father’s love and care! Let her feel like God’s feeder.[iii]
  2. With full trust, God placed humanity’s fate in the mother’s hands. Only once did he do the mother’s job by creating the first human; He left the rest of the honor to the woman, who is now cooperate with God the Father. She will draw all her creative power naturally from God, but her role will be no less miraculous and mysterious.[iv]
  3. A mother must remember that, in Paradise, she was called the mother of life, not of death![v]
  4. Perhaps a mother is said to be in the blessed state because she carries two souls within her: not only her own soul but also that of her child. She is the representative and carrier of two souls. She is responsible for two souls: her own and her child’s. This is a unique thing in the history of the world. Man is composed of a body and a rational soul, and a mother, at some point in her life, is composed of a body and two souls, her own and that of her child. This explains her great dignity and the respect shown to a mother. Hence, wherever Christian customs are kept, mothers are respected and given priority. Therefore, there is also this strange love towards the mother, which remains in the child forever, as if it had been torn from its mother’s heart. And although a man grows old, he still remembers his mother with praise, reverence, and gratitude.[vi]
  5. There would be no popes, no architects, no engineers, no poets, no thinkers, no inventors, all men who determine the progress of the nations, if it were not for an honest, reliable mother who was willing to sacrifice herself, even at the cost of the danger of her own life. It sometimes happens that a mother dies when a new life is born, calling the Holy Church a new mother. For the sake of the great sacrifice, for their readiness to sacrifice, we honor our mothers and remember them with veneration.[vii]
  6. In the family, although the father is the head—even in our time’s gender equality—the mother is the heart. Now, in the Church, the Mother is always the heart. God’s children cling to their Mother, they need their Mother, and they are looking for their Mother. It is an enormous theological and psychological truth. We, therefore, fearlessly defend the position and maternal place of Mary in the mystery of Christ and the Church.[viii]
  7. The image of a mother carrying her child in her arms reminds us of the full grain of the harvest. Now, there is hope for new fruit both here and there. And a people lives with hope not only when sitting down at the table, but also when looking at the cradle. Woe when there is no grain in the storehouse; when there is no baby in the cradle![ix]
  8. You also, unmarried women, know that you can fulfill your calling by consecrating yourself. The community is calling you from everywhere, even families themselves cannot live without the help of those who do not have a family. First of all, you, virgins consecrated to God, will become the guardians of purity, selflessness, and piety in a world where selfishness and the search for pleasure are becoming the law.[x]


  1. The image of the Virgin Mother must become the beloved power of the hearth, support, and inspiration for the spouses; a difficult but winning program of work.[xi]
  2. Only true purity makes the charity that conditions great marital love possible. [xii]
  3. The cohabitation of two people is the most intimate relationship. After all, it is based on love! This inner action and striving towards each other is so deep, subtle, and delicate that it necessarily requires sacralization and sanctification, not only to help both of them to fulfill their task properly but also so that, thanks to this help, they may keep their mutual respect and love forever.[xiii]
  4. Today, man is becoming his own slave. He avoids effort and responsibility. Family ties so often turn into the fetters of selfishness that kill love and, consequently, kill and murder the fruit of love – new life.[xiv]
  5. The family is a community dedicated to the mutual help of the spouses, to transmit the gift of life. It is the cradle of life over which the Giver of eternal life, the highest Father of fathers and parents, bends.[xv]
  6. Do not be fooled by alleged material benefits, because of which you sometimes choose for your children an education without religion. For, what you gain materially today, what you save today, you will later tearfully regret, because your children, deprived of moral restraints, will squander them a hundred-fold, with great harm to the family violating of the public good. The experience of nations teaches that states pay a terrible tribute for the supposed profits of educating their citizens without God.[xvi]
  7. The daily experience shows that all these great gifts, especially the grace of state, will bear fruit in family life if there is cooperation in the couple. A couple, not an individual! A holy mother is not enough; there must also be a sanctified father.[xvii]
  8. There may be a hundred reasons that justify your impatience, and despite them all, you are not exempt from patience and mutual forbearance.[xviii]
  9. A close-knit family is the basis for building a nation’s society. A family of families – a nation arises from these families. The nation will resemble the families—when the families are strongly united, faithful, and indissoluble, no one will be able to destroy the nation.[xix]
  10. Children are the nation’s greatest treasure. When you look at them with eyes of faith as a gift from God and the proof of the trust that God the Father places in you, whom he has made parents, you appreciate the greatness of this treasure.[xx]
  11. Giving life is taken from no source other than the life of God himself! This is the first mission and assignment of parents.[xxi]
  12. The life that, from God alone, you transmit to your children will last forever and will never die, just as God Himself lasts forever and does not die. [xxii]
  13. If God stands between the husband and the wife, He is the Father of life. This best Father chooses two people for Himself, unites them, and calls them to transmit life through themselves.[xxiii]
  14. The guiding principle of marriage and family life is love. It is the love of one person for another. It sometimes arises through the awakening of feeling and sensory impressions, but it becomes human only when it embraces the whole person, and so also the mind and the will.[xxiv]
  15. It is beyond doubt that the marital crises talked about so much today can only be resolved if the couple once again returns to honest, sincere, and unhypocritical love. [xxv]
  16. The modern family has great needs and requirements. However, the family today must remember that the younger generation of the second millennium, like that of the first, does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God’s mouth.[xxvi]
  17. We should speak not so much about the crisis of the family as an institution, but rather about the crisis of people who are not prepared for marriage and family life, who do not understand the proper task and place of this institution in the social and public life of the human family. [xxvii]
  18. Since Catholic families are aware that new life comes through cooperation with God, we must also remember that the newborn, who exists by the will of the Creator, are called to friendship with God. They are must God’s friends, called to endless joy and happiness. Hence, the great joy when a new person is born in the world.[xxviii]
  19. A child is the cause of the greatest happiness! A hundred engineers can build a thousand factories, but none of them have everlasting life. And the baby that is brought into the world by God’s power has eternal life in it. Therefore, a mother who gives birth will do more than the most talented engineer or architect who has built an entire city. So great is the price of man in God’s eyes![xxix]
  20. Sometimes you hear a mother or a father making excuses for their child: he does not go to catechesis, because he has to go to the swimming pool, to a music school, to a foreign language course. So, he won’t go to catechesis! Now, where is the order and hierarchy of duties? You cannot sacrifice religious duties for sports or television, because one day we will leave all that, and we will see God face to face, just as He is. And then it will not be enough to justify oneself with trivial or even momentous motives.[xxx]
  21. A family that has children will not die out; its name will not be lost, its heritage will not fall into foreign hands. Children provide a future for the nation.[xxxi]
  22. Sexual education—as we say: education for family life—cannot be based on the propaganda for divorce, contraceptives, the power to terminate a pregnancy, on learning about venereal diseases, on how to avoid the consequences of a couple’s life together. This overturns the order. On the contrary, it is necessary to talk about how, in the range of the most diverse powers of the human person’s life—the spiritual, psychological, physical, physiological powers—, the coexistence of a couple also occupies a proper place in the Creator’s plan. It has noble tasks that must be accomplished according to the laws of nature. If a man were to reverse this order and wanted to take advantage of the values of life in a couple, excluding the right to life of a new person, then the whole psyche—and not only of the couple—would be completely distorted. A nation in which such customs are strengthened would soon bring up a generation that counts only on security, defending itself against the consequences of the noble mission of transmitting life. Such a generation, rejecting its vocation, would lead the nation to the grave.[xxxii]
  23. Without the family, without the “vitamin of love,” no one can be brought up to live and coexist in the social order. Only the love of God and people leads to social order.[xxxiii]
  24. Whenever we say that “the family is the domestic Church,” let us consider that God is laying the foundation of the family as his temple. Everyone in the family: husband, wife, daughter, are the fruit of God’s will, who wants the existence and life of each of us. Nowadays, the presence of an existing human being is not connected enough hic et nunc with the will of God. There is talk, for example, of “unwanted children.” By whom? – by parents. And since they exist, they live – they are willed by God. And this is the most important and powerful Will.[xxxiv]


  1. The high-school diploma is just a key they give you. It will serve you to open the next door, and there are so many of these doors in the rich system of human life.[xxxv]
  2. Never forget your high dignity. It can only be saved in the light of the Gospel. The Church is helping you.[xxxvi]
  3. Perhaps your youthfulness is sometimes attracted to the freedom and liberty of life, but you soon find out that all freedom and moral liberty ultimately ends in a catastrophe that is soon regretted. Self-control and the fight against evil tendencies, culminating in victory, bring joy and bear great personal and social fruit. But it costs.[xxxvii]
  4. Be honest at work and don’t waste your time, because no moment of life ever comes back. Don’t waste your time and energy on nonsense, including smoking cigarettes.[xxxviii]
  5. Learning is a great lady, and you must serve her on your knees, patiently and with all your life! [xxxix]
  6. All learning, all university diplomas, and school certificates will be left here on earth, and the only knowledge you will finally have is your confession: I love You, Jesus Christ, I want You, Heavenly Father. When your eyes are closed to this earth, and your eyes are opened to the heavenly Fatherland, thanks to having learned this you will stand before Jesus Christ, and you will see Him face to face.[xl]
  7. Your longings and youthful impulses, your idealism is justified by the fact that the Heavenly Father has instilled in your personality, in your souls, and even in your bodies the pursuit of life, truth, love, justice and peace, the desire for sacrifice, service to people, and self-sacrifice. [xli]
  8. If you are dissatisfied with your home life, if you think that your father or mother does not love you enough and that there is a cure for that — love them more.[xlii]
  9. …Young people can be destroyed if they are not given God’s spirit and if they are not brought up in a spirit of modesty.[xliii]
  10. One has to be very careful whenever judgments are made against young people. Let us remember that these are God’s children, coming from the same cradle as us, and therefore from the heart of God who is love. Formed, as we are, in the image and likeness of God, they derived from the creative love of the Heavenly Father, the desire for love, goodness, and truth.[xliv]


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[i] Pastoral Letter On the Catholic Will for Life. Lublin, Easter 1947. Listy, 61.

[ii] The relationship of Jesus and Mary in our homeland and in the Church. Szamotuły, collegiate church, 20 September 1970. KP 35, 65.

[iii] Wypełniamy, 90-91.

[iv] God’s Gifts for Mothers. ŁB 1946, No. 12, p. 3.

[v] The Raison d’etre of the Nation for Millennia – Life. Warsaw, 27 December 1959. The Primate of Poland in defense, 66.

[vi] The Family Is Strong in God. Warka, 7 May 1961. Wielka, 237-238.

[vii] Peaceful about Bread for Many Mouths… Inowłódź, 23 August 1964. KP 18, 94.

[viii] In response to name day wishes. Jasna Góra, 2 August 1969. KP 32, 9.

[ix] We Carry the Crops… Jasna Góra, 15 August 1973. Głos, 387.

[x] Ibid., 212.

[xi] Miłość I, 119.

[xii] And They Will Be Two in One … Matka Syna, 128.

[xiii] Ibid., 164.

[xiv] Miłość II, 215.

[xv] Pastoral Letter On the Catholic Will for Life. Lublin, Easter 1947. Listy, 61.

[xvi] Pastoral Letter To Catholic Parents About the Religious Education of Children and Youth. Gniezno-Warsaw, 15 August 1951. Ibid., 210.

[xvii] Through Water and Blood to the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland. Gniezno, 28 April 1957. Ibid., 86.

[xviii] Ibid. 225.

[xix] Sursum corda! How the Jasna Góra Vows of the Nation came about. Zakopane 1957. Big, 48.

[xx] Sermon during a canonical visitation. Warsaw, Saint Joseph’s parish, 17 May 1959. The Primate of Poland in Defense, 49.

[xxi] Parents, Your Hour Has Come. Bardo Śląskie, 15 August 1959. Wielka, 222.

[xxii] The Family is Strong in God. Warka, 7 May 1961. Wielka, 235.

[xxiii] Ibid., 237.

[xxiv] Pastoral Letter A Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Holy Family. Warsaw, 8 January 1967. Listy, 532.

[xxv] Ibid., 544.

[xxvi] Paweł – Stefan – Romuald. Warsaw, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. Ibid., 355.

[xxvii] Pastoral Perspectives of Marriage and the Family. Warsaw, the academic church of St. Anna, 9 June 1969. Ibid., 395.

[xxviii] Homily on a 25th Wedding Anniversary. Warsaw, chapel in the Primate’s house, 24 June 1970. KP 34, 60.

[xxix] The Mystery of the Church’s Stability: Jesus and Mary. Kozłów Szlachecki, 10 May 1972. KP 40, 49.

[xxx] The Mother of the God Man is Taken up into Heaven. Jasna Góra, 15 August 1977. Głos, 415.

[xxxi] Ibid.

[xxxii] Unbind Him and let Him Walk! Warsaw, Saint Michael’s parish, 16 March 1975. KP 49, 233-234.

[xxxiii] Mutual Social Service in the Polish Nation. Jasna Góra, 3 May 1977. Ibid., 425.

[xxxiv] A Program of Personal Consecration to the Mother of the Church During the Lenten Retreat. Warsaw, Primate’s house, 25 January 1979. KP 62, 28.

[xxxv] On the Path of Mature Life … Warsaw, chapel in the Primate’s house, 28 May 1962. Ibid., 144.

[xxxvi] What Kind of Youth Does the New Poland need? Jasna Góra, 18 June 1969. KP 31, 452.

[xxxvii] Without Sacrifices and Renunciation There Are No Victories. Warsaw, Church of Our Lady of Victory, 16 August 1970. From the Nest, 104.

[xxxviii] Ibid.

[xxxix] De Revoilutionibus Orbium Coelestium. Warsaw, Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 18 October 1972. Ibid., 173.

[xl] The Free Path for Children to Christ. Warsaw, Church of Saint Alexander, 8 September 19773. KP 44, 11.

[xli] Homily to Polish youth during the Holy Year pilgrimage. Niepokalanów, 8 December 1974. KP 48, 209.

[xlii] The Task of Self-education of Academic Youth in the New Year of Work. Warsaw, Church of St. James, October 26, 1973. KP 52, 104.

[xliii] Spiritual Fathers and Cradle Fathers. Jasna Góra, 26 August 1959. Uświęcenie, 76.

[xliv] A New People Never Seen Before Is Rising. Chełmża, 11 September 1966. KP 25, 102.