Cardinal Nagy, long-time friend of Blessed John Paul II, dies

Cardinal Stanislaus Nagy
Cardinal Stanislaus Nagy

Cardinal Stanislaus Nagy, SCJ, friend and advisor to Blessed John Paul II, died today, June 5. He was 91.

Born on September 30, 1921, at Bierun Stary, Poland, he made his first profession of vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart on September 22, 1938; he was ordained a priest on June 8, 1945.

Cardinal Nagy studied at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and received a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, in 1952.

After completing his studies, he became professor of theology at Lublin, superior of the minor seminary in Kraków, and superior of the major seminary of Tarnów. Both are SCJ institutions. Starting in 1958, he taught theology at the Catholic University of Lublin.

Twice Cardinal Nagy participated as a theological expert at the Synod of Bishops in Rome (1985, 1991). From 1986 to 1996 he was member of the International Theological Commission. He was a teaching colleague of Pope John Paul II at the University of Lublin and professor at various diocesan and religious seminaries in Poland.

In 2003 he was consecrated as archbishop and named cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria della Scala.

Cardinal Nagy served Blessed John Paul II, the then-archbishop of Krakow, as a theological consultant in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Friends, the two often skied near Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.

The two remained close friends and Cardinal Nagy often visited with the pope in Rome and at Castel Gandolfo.