Over 100,000 attend beatification of Polish priest and martyr

.- Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, a Polish priest and martyr who died in 1984, was beatified in Warsaw on June 6 in a ceremony attended by over 100,000 people.

The open air Mass and beatification ceremony was celebrated by 120 bishops and 1,600 priests in Warsaw's Pilsudski Square. Among them were Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow and Cardinal Adam Maida, Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit.

The Polish martyr’s 90-year old mother, Marianna Popieluszko, was also present for his beatification.

In December of 2009, Pope Benedict declared the late Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko a martyr. An advocate for freedom, the priest was known for his “Masses for the Homeland” during the early 1980s, when Poland was severely oppressed by the communist regime and under martial law. Fr. Jerzy was also the chaplain of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Movement, the first trade union to be acknowledged by the Soviets.

The 37-year-old priest was abducted by the Polish Secret Police in 1984, along with his driver. He was bound, gagged, beaten and stuffed in the trunk of a car. Though he tried to escape, he was beaten again before being shoved into a sack and thrown, alive, into the river. Fr. Jerzy's driver escaped to tell of his murder, yet his body was not found for almost two weeks.

His funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands of people who sought to demonstrate their defiance of the communist regime.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, read Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter on the beatification of Fr. Jerzy in Latin to the thousands gathered for the ceremony, followed Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw who then read the letter in Polish.

Cardinal Amato also gave the homily during the celebratory Mass, in which he spoke of Fr. Jerzy’s courage and his dedication to the truth. Noting the way the priest was treated at the hands of the police, it would seem that he was a dangerous criminal, the prelate said.

However, Fr. Jerzy was simply a faithful priest who defended the Gospel which declared that mankind’s inherent dignity and freedom were not in line with Marxist principles. That is why the forces of darkness unleashed great lies, violence, oppression and evil against him, the cardinal added.

Emphasizing that Fr. Jerzy’s faith had a great impact on those around him, Cardinal Amato called the blessed martyr a heroic witness and an exemplary figure for priests at the end of this Year for Priests.

On Sunday, Pope Benedict also paused a moment during his Apostolic Visit to Cyprus. Before the Angelus, the Holy Father spoke in Polish, commemorating the Polish priest whose sacrificial ministry and martyrdom “are a special sign of the victory of good over evil.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: