.- Around 25,000 people gathered Sunday in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square for the beatification of three Polish priests presided over by the Archbishop of Warsaw, Cardinal Jozef Glemp. Fathers Ladislaus Findysz, martyr, Bronislao Markiewicz, founder of the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel, and Ignacy Klopotowski, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Loreto, became the first Poles to be beatified under Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Klopotowski died in 1931. He founded several orphanages and centers of assistance for the unemployed, and he published several newsletters providing spiritual direction.
Father Ladislau Findysz was persecuted by the Communist secret service and was arrested in 1963. He was sent to prison for having sent letters to his parishioners asking for their prayers. He was released in 1964, just before dying. Father Findysz is the first Polish martyr of the Communist era to be beatified, according to Vatican Radio. “He is a heroic priest,” said Bishop Edwars Nowak, secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.” “As a child and later as a young man, I personally witnessed this,” he said.
Father Bronislao Markiewicz helped many orphans and delinquent young people. He died in 1912.