Last night Stanisław Grygiel, a long-time professor at the Central Session of the Institute in Rome and a great friend and collaborator of the faculty of the Washington Session, passed away at the age of 88.
Having studied at the Pontifical Faculty of Philosophy in Krakow and the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Grygiel earned a doctorate in philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin under the direction of then-Archbishop Karol Wojtyła. He remained a friend, student, and interpreter of Wojtyła for the rest of his life. Following 20 years as a lecturer in philosophy and editor of the Polish journal Znak, Prof. Grygiel accepted the call of Pope John Paul II to join the original faculty of the newly-founded Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome. Prof. Grygiel remained on the faculty as a regular professor until 2007 and then part-time until 2019.
Students at the Washington Session of the Institute will recall Prof. Grygiel as a frequent and beloved visiting professor, as well as the 2013 McGivney Lecturer. His McGivney Lectures, entitled “
Prof. Grygiel once observed that Karol Wojtyła had always been occupied with understanding the human person in terms of love. This point formed the foundation of his own philosophical work as well. As witnessed by his epigram, extra communionem personarum nulla philosophia, Prof. Grygiel’s work centered especially on the human person, deepening our understanding of the person’s communal nature, especially in light of the man-woman relationship. His work reflected upon and developed the great wealth of insight contained in the magisterium of his close friend Saint John Paul II, whose vast works he edited.
His many students and colleagues will remember his intellectual depth, poetic style, and unquenchable curiosity. He exuded not only the philosophical habitus of reflection and openness, but also a memorable charm.
In gratitude for Prof. Grygiel’s teaching and his witness, we pray that he will be received into the radiant light of Christ and rejoice in the communion of saints.