The Holy Spirit is like the rain, enabling virtues to sprout like beautiful flowers in the human soul. Just like Don Bosco told his boys about his Dream of Ten Diamonds, so too did Ignác Stuchlý have ten diamonds that shone in his life:
During his whole life, he kept and nurtured a strong and unshakeable faith, which inspired his thoughts and actions. Thanks to his many experiences and strong faith, he was able to be humble and simple, albeit with a strong piety. His many letters and writings show us that he lived his life with one goal in mind: The glory of God and the salvation of the human soul.
During the course of his life, Ignác Stuchlý had to suffer incredible trials. As the first Czech Salesian, he witnessed the creation and destruction of the Salesian project in his country. Despite this, he never lost hope and always placed his hope in the hands of God.
3. Loving God and his People
For Don Stuchlý, God was both a loving and beloved Father. His unshakeable belief in God’s love was always present in his activities with the people around him. In all that he did, he worked for the glory of God and for the good of those around him, especially young people. Whenever he met someone, he would always try to put in a nice word, to make them smile, which made him very popular. In this way, he gained the hearts and minds of many of the boys he worked with, who were always very happy to see him.
4. Spiritual Fatherhood
A father’s goodness is very visible on his sons. To all his younger confrères, he was always a very good and loving spiritual father. For fifty years he lived as an educator and leader in his spiritual community and also spent 23 years as an Inspector General and Provincial. To all those who were under his care, he was loving and caring, which gained him their love and admiration. His actions spoke much louder than his words.
Throughout his life, Don Stuchlý extolled the virtues of living with a spirit of poverty. He asked all his Salesians to remember that they were living from the gifts of the poor.
For Don Stuchlý, obedience was the central pillar of the Salesian congregation. He always listened to the decisions of his superiors and always ensured that these orders were put into life.
Ignác always tried to serve others and never tried to be the centre of attention. When needed, he tried to put the needs of others above his own. His simplicity and humility gained him many devoted friends.
Throughout his life, Don Stuchlý steered the ship of the Salesian congregation with composure and resolve. He made all his decisions upon consultation with others, especially with people who had more experience. He also liked to pray often for enlightenment from above, so that his decisions would be made with God’s intentions in mind.
From his student days, the classmates of Don Stuchlý would remember the story of when his school class decided to go on a trip to the forest, the mothers of the girls in the class would only consent when they heard the Ignác would be going too. Don Bosco wished that his Salesians would be shining examples of purity, and Don Stuchlý agreed. He would always go around wearing his cassock and always tried to ensure that his Salesians would be examples of purity for others.
During his time as Provincial of Czech Salesians, he witnessed it grow and fall apart very quickly. Jesus also had many miracles and his crucifixion was, in the eyes of many people, the end of his work. This was because many people only saw the surface and didn’t understand the mysteries of Easter. Don Stuchlý didn’t do any miracles, but his whole life and work was like a miracle. This simple, unassuming priest created a movement and work that survived for over a century. He was truly a Man of God.