Ján Chryzostom Korec, Slovak Roman Catholic prelate, Died at 91

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Ján Chryzostom Korec was born on January 22, 1924, and passed away on October 24, 2015.

Ján was a Slovakian Jesuit Cardinal and Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Nitra.

Jan Korec was born to a working-class family.

His father Ján Korec and his mother Mária Drábiková were laborers at a local leather factory in Bošany.

There were two older siblings: brother Anton, who was imprisoned during the first wave of communist persecution in 1951, and sister Štefánia.

Ján’s family lived a humble life with limited resources.

Ján entered the Society of Jesus in 1939 and studied Catholic theology and philosophy.

During the order’s suppression by the Communists, he was forced to discontinue his philosophical studies.

Ján entered the priesthood in 1950. One year later, at the age of twenty-seven, he was secretly consecrated a bishop by Bishop Pavol Hnilica on 24 August.

The following three years he worked at the Tatrachema company and then at the Institute of Work Hygiene and Work-Related Diseases.

On 30 June 1958, Jan Korec was forced to leave the Institute, and on 10 September, he began working as a night watchman for the Prefa company.

From there he took a job as a maintenance worker at the Juraj Dimitrov Chemical Company, one of the largest companies in Bratislava

He was imprisoned from 1960 to 1968. While he was in prison, Ján cared for the spiritual welfare of his fellow prisoners.

Ján spent most of this period in Valdice, a prison in the Czech Republic.

There were at least 250 priests and several bishops being held: Vojtašák, Zela, Otčenášek, Hlad, and Hopko.

These clergymen were forced to share prison cells with some of the country’s worst criminals.

Ján died at age 91 in October 2015.

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