Slovak cardinal Ján Chryzostom Korec (born in 1924), member of Jesuit order, was ordained to bishop in august 1951. Exceptional fact was that he was only 27 years old at that time and that ordaining had to take place secretly. In 1950 Slovakia experienced so called Barbarian night, wen the state police liquidated all monasteries in the whole state. Young Jesuit became civilian and finished the study of theology secretly, in 1950 he was secretly ordained as a priest, and less than a year later he became bishop.
People were afraid that totalitarian regime in Slovakia destroys whole church hierarchy and the country will lose bischops and later even priests. Young Jesuit worked as a worker and performed hard manual work. In 1960 he was arrested and taken to the Slovak and Cyech prisons. He was sentenced for 12 years for „treason“. They did not break him, he perceived his suffering for faith and faithfulness to the church as a part of Jesuit apostolate. When being investigated he did not reveal anything, he did not hurt anybody and he even prayed for those who imprisoned him. He was educated in philosophy, theology, he studied even Marxism, which was the state ideology at that time.
In the name of it freedom of citizens was destroyed, the church schools, publishing houses, press and of course seminaries were closed and forbidden. When the situation arose, that his case could be investigated again, he did not ask for grace. He invoked only „truth, justice and law“. In 1968 he was released, but he could be only a worker. He fulfiled his pastoral duties fearless and restless, although he was followed by state police.
Published by LÚČ, Bratislava, 2006
Texts: Prof. ThDr. Viliam Judák, Prof. PhDr. Július Paštéka, DrSc, Mgr. Lucia Lendelová, 2006
Layout: Akad. mal. Barbara Neumannová, 2006
Editor: Mgr. Anna Kolková, 2006
Scans a lithography: Typocon, Bratislava
Printing: LÚČ, Bratislava, 2006
First edition, 244 pages
He taught layment, he took care of students of theology, he ordained many of them secretly. He performed revival ideological work, personally and also with his books he expanded and stgrengthened faith and radiated light of Christ's teaching in atheistic regime. He established so colled Library of Faith, where many of his works – theological, biblical, philosophical – where published. When he and his work become known abroad, the foreingn universities awarded honorary doctorates to him. At liberty, although in limited conditions he became fearless fighter for human rights.
He took part on events for protection of religious freedom, pursued church, imprisoned priests and laymen. He demasked atheistic and violent regime. With his works he became a great teacher of the faith and with his activities he was a great antiregime fighter. He was the highest moral authority of Slovakia. Many of expert books made him to an important cultural personality. In 1968 the pope Paul VI. gave him personally his own bishop's insignicies as a symbol of respect to this sufferer and fighter. In 1990 he became bishop in Nitra, the oldest diocese in Central Europe. And pope John Paul II. appointed him cardinal in 1991.
The author is an artistic photographer Jozef Sedlák, whose pictures were shown on many exhibitions in various European countries. He worked in area of experimental photography, but he approved his skills also in this documentary publication which was published in honour of the great cardinal on occason of 55 th anniversary of his bishop consecration.
This was the highest honour to a former monk. Since this day, the whole Europe and the whole world has known him. He is great not only as official personality but also as a private person. In this way this picture publication presents him.