Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulewicz
January 27, bishop and founder.

January 27, Blessed

Founder of the Congregation of Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and the Sisters Servants of the Jesus in the Eucharist in Belarus.

Roman martyrology: In the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, Blessed Jurgis Matulaiti, bishop of Vilna and then Apostolic Visitor in Lithuania, founder of the Congregation of Marian Clerics and the Congregation of Sisters under the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate.

Beatification date: 28 June 1987 by Pope John Paul II


Born on April 13, 1871 at Lugine, Lithuania to a poor farm family, the youngest of eight children at a time when Lithuania was under the control of Tsarist Russia.

Orphaned at age ten. Developed tuberculosis of the bone in his leg, in his early teens; he suffered with it the rest of his life. Entered the seminary in Poland in 1891, studied in the major seminary in Warsaw, studied theology in Saint Petersburg, Russia, earned his doctorate of theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Spiritual student of Blessed Honorat Kozminski. Ordained on 20 November 1898 in the Congregation of Marian Fathers. Taught Latin and canon law in the seminary in the diocese of Kielce, Poland. Worked for the betterment of the working poor.

Head of the Sociology section of Saint Petersburg Academy in 1907. Taught dogmatic theology. Vice-rector of the Academy. Noted teacher, preacher, spiritual director, and confessor. Reformed the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in 1910, changing their constitution, habit, vows, and way of life, resigning his position at the Academy to work for the Marians revitalization; superior general of the Congregation on 14 July 1911.

Founded the Congregation of Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in 1918. Founded the Sisters Servants of the Jesus in the Eucharist in Belarus. Reluctant bishop of Vilnius, Lithuania on 23 October 1918. The city was divided into warring camps loyal to the various forces of the First World War, and George fought constantly to defend the right of the Church and the freedom of the citizens.

Founded the Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist in 1919. He retired from his see on 14 July 1925; on 1 September 1925 he was made titular archbishop and Apostolic Visitor to Lithuania. Dispatched by the Vatican to complete a concordant with the Lithuanian government to restore diplomatic relations; he succeeded just before his death.

He died on January 27, 1927 of appendicitis at Kaunas, Lithuania.


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