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August Czartoryski

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Template:Infobox Szlachcic Blessed August Franciszek Maria Anna Józef Kajetan Czartoryski, Duke of Vista Alegre[1] (1858-1893) was a Prince of the Polish Czartoryski family, born in Paris during the family's exile. A sickly child, he spent much of his youth being shuttled to various health spas. He was accompanied and tutored by a Polish patriot, Father Raphael Kalinowski, a man who was later canonized. Prince August also turned to the priesthood, and after dying at a relatively young age of tuberculosis, was himself beatified, on the path towards becoming a saint.

Biography

Prince August was born in Paris, the only child of Prince Ladislaus (Władysław) Czartoryski and Princess Maria Amparo, Countess of Vista Alegre (daughter of Queen Maria Christina of Spain and her secret husband Augustín Fernández Muñoz, Duke of Riansares).[2]

The Czartoryski magnate was one of the most powerful families in Poland during the 18th century, but in the 19th century they were exiled from Poland by the Russians, and had their base of operations at the Hôtel Lambert in Paris.

To his family, the young prince was known as "Gucio". He was a sickly child, having contracted tuberculosis from his mother at the age of 6 (she later died of the disease). Much of his life was spent being shuttled to different health spas in mountains and along beaches that had "good air" for the afflicted. From the age of 10 to 17 he studied in Paris and Kraków.

Tutored by the future Saint Raphael Kalinowski

In 1872, when Gucio was 14, his father Prince Ladislaus remarried to Marguerite Adelaide, and had two more sons in 1872 and 1876. A tutor was hired for Gucio in 1874—Joseph Kalinowski, a Polish patriot who had just returned to Poland from a ten-year sentence in Siberia.[3] Joseph also suffered from respiratory ailments, and accompanied Gucio to many of his destinations. In a letter to his sister Mary, Joseph wrote that he was "father, mother, nurse, brother, companion and caretaker" for the boy. Joseph and August remained close companions until 1877, when Joseph joined the religious order of the Discalced Carmelites and took the name "Raphael of St. Joseph". He was declared a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2004.

Career

It was Prince Ladislaus's desire that his son Gucio pursue a diplomatic career, but the young prince felt a different calling. He was encouraged by Pope Leo XIII to follow Don Bosco (later Saint Don Bosco) of the Salesians.

In 1887, after meeting Don Bosco, Gucio joined that order in Turin, with the ailing Bosco's blessing. He studied theology and philosophy but his health continued to decline. On April 2, 1892 he was ordained as a priest by the Bishop of Ventimiglia, though his family discouraged this, and refused to attend the ceremony. He died only a year later, on April 8, 1893, in Alassio, Italy, of tuberculosis, at the age of 34.

Veneration

Salezjanie - Czartoryski1

Relics of August Czartoryski, in Przemyśl, Poland

In February 14, 1921 the process for his beatification began, and on the 24 of April 2004, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II, the next step towards becoming a Saint.[4] His remains are currently in Przemyśl, Poland.

Blessed August Czartoryski
Beatified
Born August 2, 1858, Paris
Died April 8, 1893, Italy
Venerated in December 1, 1978
Beatified April 24,2004


Notes

  1. family tree at thepeerage.com (lists his name as Francisek Czartoryski)
  2. Vatican press release about Czartoryski's beatification
  3. Vatican biography
  4. Catholic News - Pope presides at beatification of six

References

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