Jan Beyzym was a Polish Jesuit missionary in Madagascar. Born in eastern Poland, Beyzym studied in Kiev and Kraków, was ordained a priest, and worked in several parishes as pastor and teacher. In 1899 he began his missionary work in Madagascar among persons with leprosy at Ambahiwuraka. He first created a shelter for them, and then in 1902, with financial help from Poland, he began building a hospital with 200 beds for leprosy patients at Ambatuwuri. The hospital was completed in 1911. He wrote numerous articles for mission magazines about his work and requesting assistance. Eventually he himself contracted leprosy and died at Ambatuwuri, where he is remembered as “servant and protector of lepers.”
Czeslaw Drzek, Vie, activité et sainteté du Serviteur de Dieu Jean Beyzym, prêtre de la Compagnie de Jésus (1850-1912), 2 vols. (1989). Beyzim’s papers are located in the archive of the Jesuit Superior’s House in Kraków, Poland.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.