|Birth: ||Mar. 30, 1921|
|Death: ||Oct. 8, 2006|
Former Bishop of the Titular See of Rusado, Monsignor Pavel Hnilica SJ., was born in Uňatín, Czechoslovakia, on March 30, 1921, and was ordained to the Priesthood through the Society of Jesus on September 29, 1950. Less than four months later, on January 2, 1951, his Bishop, Monsignor Robert Pobožný, secretly consecrated him to the Episcopate while lying on his deathbed.
The Secret Service of the Communist Regime in then occupied Czechoslovakia came to know of Hnilica's consecration and had him condemned to death. Fleeing his country, he settled in Rome, where he spent most of his remaining years. A close friend of Pope John Paul II, he founded the Religious Congregation, Pro Deo et Fratribus, presently known as the Pro Deio et Fratribus – Famiglia di Maria Corredentrice. On May 13, 1964, Hnilica was named Bishop of the Titular See of Rusadus by the Holy See.
Monsignor Hnilica was also a close friend of Sr. Lúcia dos Santos OCD., and of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom he helped to establish a community of her Nuns in Rome and in Moscow. Although he was an avid opponent of the Communist ideology he held nothing personal against people who shared these ideas. For him, every human being was a brother.
When Enrico Berlinguer died, he asked a priest to accompany him to go and pay homage to the deceased. He said: "Now he is not a politician, no longer a communist, just a person who is in front of God, whom now I consider as a brother, because we are all children of God, and so I wish to go to pay my respects by praying in front of his body." They went to Piazza Venezia, were thousands were waiting to give their final farewell to Berlinguer. Bishop Hnilica showed up at the entrance and was immediately recognized. He stood before the body of the former Communist leader for a few minutes in prayer, then drew a blessing and left. Communist leaders were amazed and deeply appreciated his presence.
Bishop Hnilica died in Novi Hrady, Czech Republic, at 85 years of age, after a long illness, on October 8, 2006, at 6 am. He was given a hero's funeral at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Trnava, Slovakia, on October 18, at 11 am. Internment followed in the Crypt of the named Cathedral. Msgr. Peter Dubovský SJ., a fellow Jesuit who was likewise clandestinely consecrated to the Episcopate during the Communist occupation of Czechoslovakia, was laid to rest next to Bishop Hnilica upon his death in 2008.
Cardinal Josef Tomko celebrated a memorial mass for Bishop Hnilica on October 25, 2006, at 6 pm., at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.
Katedrále sv. Jána Krstiteľa
Plot: Krypty v Katedrále.
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Jun 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92169629
It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Bishop Hnilica, A Successor Of The Apostles By Raising Him To The Episcopal Order. May He Also Be Associated With Them Forever. We Ask This Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.|
Added: Jun. 19, 2012