Pruszków, a small but nice town near Warsaw. There, on the 10th of August 1931 to Mr. Henryk Dajczer and Mrs. Stefania Dajczer, both parents with education background, the fourth child is born, a boy: Tadeusz Józef.

And to this very town he shall return after 78 years of his life, on the 15th of September 2009.

It was, despite all adversities, a very rich life. Like every child, Tadeusz would spend time playing with his peers, although he was not quite like them. So it was at school. At the age of 17, a flu or a pneumonia lasting for several months was the first harbinger that Tadeusz would not be a picture of health. He accepted it with full submitting to God’s will just like his solitude and incomprehension from the others.

During long days he would spend in bed, he came across a few books which were to influence his further life. Those were: The Initiation into the Expertise of Saints (Wtajemniczenie w umiejętność świętych) and also The Fullness of Saints’ Expertise (Pełnia umiejętności świętych) by Aleksander Żychliński and The Moulding of character (Kształcenie charakteru) by Fr. Marian Pirożyński.

He would also think a lot on his life which led him to the conclusion that he had been born to do something big in his life. He was very interested in history. The age of wars was over, so was there anything else to be done for the motherland? Most gladly he would see himself as Napoleon’s adjutant (that’s because he used to devour historical books).

And finally he discovered his vocation to greatness. On his school-leaving examination he decided to enter the seminary. And there, together with the development of interior life, he understood that greatness is striving after sanctity. He stated that there are people who can be redeemed only by sanctity and perhaps he was one of them (he wrote it in his notes).

This way he set his aim for which he would be heading till the end of his life.

In 1950 he begins studies at the Metropolitan Higher Seminary in Warsaw and simultaneously at the Theological Faculty of the University of Warsaw (later moved to the Academy of Catholic Theology).

He was a good student. He liked studying. But again he encountered none too friendly environment. Other seminarists would tease him with each arising opportunity. He saw the meaning in all this. He belonged to God, not to people.

During summer holidays he could not return home due to political persecution of the communist regime (his father had to conceal that his son was a seminarist) and roamed through different parishes or remained alone in the seminary.

On the 7th of August 1955 he takes holy orders and receives a work request in the parish of Kocierzew, about 80 km east from Warsaw. He has got two academic degrees: one from the Metropolitan Higher Seminary in Warsaw and an MA from the Academy of Catholic Theology. From the village of Kocierzew he gets transferred to the parish of Biała Rawska, more or less in the same distance from Warsaw as Kocierzew, and in November 1956 to Kobyłka, now within the Warsaw conurbation. These were not quite challenging, but strangely often relocations. They were easier by the fact that all Fr. Tadeusz’s possessions consisted of a flimsy table with a chair, a small wardrobe, some books and … a cot.

His pastoral attitude was slightly different from those used by his fellow-priests. As a result it would often come to uneasy debates.

In August 1958 he was transferred to St. Thérese of the Child Jesus Parish in Tamka Str. in the very centre of Warsaw and already in October of 1960 to St. Augustine Parish, just a few kilometres away.

He fulfils all the duties commissioned to him but still dreams of further studies, preferably abroad. For the time being, in June 1962, he has to move parish again; this time for Church of the Holiest Saviour, quite near the parish in Tamka Str.

SHe constantly ponders over a priestly environment which as a community would constitute a togetherness in striving after God, after sanctity. Yet, God’s plans are different.

The question of further studies return. Obtaining permission to leave from the Church authorities and later from the communist government administration verges on miracle. At last he succeeds.

At first, however, he had to go through an ordeal. His father Henryk fell ill. An accurate diagnosis was searched for a long time but in vain. Father Tadeusz took his father to his place and let him have the use of his only bed, himself having to sleep on the floor. It was hard for him to accept that the amputation of legs was necessary in his father’s condition. Henryk Dajczer died on the 12th of October 1965. When he would remember it later, Father Tadeusz admitted to have never wept so bitterly as then. He had no money neither for the doctors nor for the medication and finally not even for the burial. But God was watching over him. A bank clerk, seeing his helplessness and despite the lack of any power of attorney, paid to him all his father’s savings.

At this time his mother was already chronically ill, hospitalized for several years. She died after Father Tadeusz had returned from Rome on the 21st of September 1972. His only brother died in an accident. Unfortunately, Father Tadeusz was not able to come to Poland for his funeral. There were two other stepbrothers left but relations with them were rather difficult.

In January 1966 Father Tadeusz begins his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University also known as the Gregorianum. There he experiences a real drama; from suffering hunger to obtaining necessary documents. He needs to prolong his passport to finish his studies but the communist authorities make a condition and want him to cooperate with the communist secret security service “SB” to which he cannot agree. Finally, he manages to receive the documents thanks to the help of a recommended nun.

His daily sustenance, however, often consisted of bread and milk. Even a cup was made from a cut-off milk carton.

In July 1972 he comes back to Poland with a doctorate in religious sciences and material for habilitation. He has, however, neither valid personal documents nor a passport. Each attempt to obtain them is rejected. But God takes action. In the end, the communist administration grants him a valid identity card.

On the 14th of December 1981, a day after introducing martial law, on defence of postdoctoral thesis, Father Tadeusz receives an academic degree of qualification as a university lecturer-professor in the field of phenomenology of religion. Later he begins lecturing at the Metropolitan Higher Seminary in Warsaw and at the Academy of Catholic Theology (now: Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw). He establishes and runs the Chair of Phenomenology of Religion, a completely new research and study field at the university. For his scientific achievements he receives the national professor’s title (professor ordinarius) from the President of Poland, Lech Wałęsa.

But in real fact he was mostly interested in interior life. He wrote the famous bestseller book The Inquiring Faith which has been translated into many languages and in Poland alone reached the number of over 170 000 sold copies.

Each man’s life consists of sufferings and adversities. But what Father Tadeusz had to go through was beyond compare. All the time he had to go against the stream. Often he had to account for before superiors and bishops because of people whom he devoted much time and granted help despite his poor health. And in return as “fruits of gratitude” he received grievances and claims of those whom he served.

He is considered the founder of the Families of Nazareth Movement, which is not quite accurate. It was to be a grass-roots initiative. Father Tadeusz had never supposed that people whom he trusted and wanted to help in developing of the Movement (nowadays the Movement is active in about 40 countries of the world), would eventually slander him with false testimonies before the Church authorities.

The last years of his life were just one huge suffering. Father Tadeusz did not defend himself. In the end it was not even clear who stands behind all these unfair allegations and accusations…

His health was getting worse rapidly despite all the calmness and composure he remained in the face of what was happening around him. He “withdrew” from life, spending long hours over books penetrating the mystery of the Eucharist. His wish was to share what he experienced. Thus 6 books on the Eucharist came into being which were presented mostly to bishops, fellow-priests and seminarists. Many of them appreciated the gift, sending letters of thanks for such a valuable work. But almost at once also some adversaries appeared.

We realized how poor his health was, the more surprised we were with a Sunday visit of his – 2 days before he died. But he knew to be departing. He wanted to bid us farewell.

And in the end the day came, particularly difficult for those who still stood by him. When the phone remained silent one of the priests went to Tamka Str. Father Tadeusz had already been dead. He passed away on the Feast of Birth of Mary.

None of us presumed that we would never see him again, that he would never show us the way any more.

The preparation for the funeral disclosed new difficulties. But eventually, on the 15th of September, on the Day of Mother of Sorrows, he returned to his hometown of Pruszków and was interred in the family tomb.

We were filled with pain but we knew that he suffers no more. All his life he strived after the unity with God and most likely he reached the Goal, for he could be redeemed only through sanctity.

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