Witness of Courage Pt.3 - Bl. Jerzy Popiełuszko (Poland)

Bl. Jerzy Popiełuszko ; (September 14, 1947 – October 19, 1984) was a Roman Catholic priest from Poland, associated with the Solidarity union. On the 19th October 1984 Fr. Jerzy was abducted. He was murdered by three agents of the Polish communist internal intelligence agency, the Służba Bezpieczeństwa, (English: Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) who were shortly thereafter tried and convicted of the murder.  Fr Jerzy's body was found later on the 30th October 1984 in the River Vistula badly bruised and disfigured.  He has been recognized as a martyr by the Catholic Church, and was beatified on June 6, 2010.

Below from the website http://www.popieluszko.net.pl/english/xjerzy_en/biografia_en.php an article on his first Holy Mass for the Steelworkers...

Summer of 1980 was a breakthrough period in his life. On Sunday the 31st of August a delegation of striking steelworkers asked cardinal Stefan Wyszyński to allow a priest into the steelworks plant. Cardinal Wyszynski’s chaplain made his way to the church of St. Stanislaw Kostka. In the sacristy he asked Father Jerzy Czarnota if he could go to the steelworks, but the latter could not as he was about to say mass for his own congregation. At that point Father Jerzy Popiełuszko offered to go in his stead.
Here is how Father Jerzy recalled the events of that day:
”I will never forget that day and that mass. As I was making my way to the steelworks, I felt a great stage fear. This was a totally new experience. I kept asking myself many questions. What will I find? How will they welcome me? Will there be enough room for saying mass? Who will do the scripture reading and singing? These may seem very naive questions today, but at that time they accompanied and made me arrows all the way When I approached the gate of the steel-works I had the first surprise. I saw a thick row of people who were smiling and crying simultaneously. When they applauded, I thought someone important was following me. I soon found out the applause was for me, the first priest ever to pass through the gate of the steelworks. At that point I realised this cheerful welcome was actually addressed to the Church, which had been patiently knocking at the gates of Polish factories for thirty long years. My misgivings were needless, as everything had been made ready for the mass. In the middle of the factory square there was an altar with a cross and even a makeshift confessional. The said cross was later dug in near the gate of the steelworks. It has survived hard times and has stood unshaken till now, always decorated with fresh flowers. Readers volunteered. You should hear the voices of those men who had often used a coarse language and were now reading the Holy Scriptures with piety. Later on thousands of people exclaimed ”Thanks be to God!”. It turned out that even the singing was much better than it often is in church interiors”.

Bl. Jerzy pray for us and for the Church at this time of great difficulty.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful in your comments. Anonymous comments are no longer taken.