Kalinowski, Rafał of St. Józef, St.
KALINOWSKI, RAFAŁ OF ST. JÓZEF, ST.
Baptized Józef (Joseph), engineer, freedom fighter, Discalced Carmelite (OCD) priest, "martyr of the confessional"; b. Sept. 1, 1835, at Vilna, Lithuania; d. Nov. 15, 1907, at the Carmel in Wadowice, Poland.
Born in Lithuania to an aristocratic Polish family, Kalinowski entered the military in 1853 and studied civil engineering at the Academy of Military Sciences, St. Petersburg. Thereafter he was appointed to the fortress at Brest Litowski, Belarus, where he was charged with overseeing the building of the railway line between Kurst and Odessa. His success in that task led to his promotion to captain about the time the Russian Army occupied Poland (1863). Although he desired to devote himself to charity, as a Polish patriot, he accepted the position of minister of war in Vilna and participated in the uprising (1863) against the Russian occupation. He was captured in 1864 and condemned to death. Later his sentence was commuted to ten years' exile in Siberia. The first four years were spent in a desolate labor camp, where he became known as a man of boundless charity and serenity. Fellow prisoners sought him out for spiritual advice. He was freed in 1874, but since he was forbidden to live in any major Polish city, he went to Paris, where he became tutor to Prince August Czartoryski, who later became a Salesian priest.
In 1877 he was received into the Austrian Carmelites, taking the name Rafał of St. Józef and was ordained priest in 1882. Thereafter he began his work of restoring the Discalced Carmelites in Poland, especially in Czerna, Krakow, and Wadowice, where he a founded a monastery (1892) and served as its prior. His primary apostolate centered on the confessional. His gift of charity made him a much sought spiritual director, but he also taught novices and served in other capacities. Among his spiritual sons is St. Albert chmielowski.
His spiritual life is marked by continual prayer fed by austerity and silence. He also longed and worked for Christian unity. He wrote several books on Carmelite spirituality. Kalinowski is buried at Czerna.
Pope john paul ii, who was born in Wadowice and tried to become a Carmelite, beatified Kalinowski in 1983 at Krakow, Poland. When Kalinowski was canonized by the same pope (Nov. 17, 1991), he was the first Carmelite friar to be so honored since John of the Cross in 1726.
Feast: Nov. 19 (Carmelites).
Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 76 (1984) 1045–1047. L'Osservatore Romano, English ed., no. 28 (1983) 9–10. s. adamczyk, Niespokojne serce (Krakow 1983). r. bender, Powstanieczakonnik [ojciec] Rafał Kalinowski (Warsaw 1977). j. galofaro, Al Carmelo attraverso la Siberia (Rome 1960). c. gil, O. Rafał Kalinowski (Krakow 1979). r. kalinowski, Listy (Lublin 1978). s. t. praskiewicz, St. Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to His Life and Spirituality, tr. t. coonan, m. griffin, and l. sullivan (Washington 1999).
[k. i. rabenstein]