Monday, October 22, 2012

Priests and Martyrs Part 1 - Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko (Poland)

The above video is from various homilies given by Bl. Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, one of which he gave to the Holy Father Pope John Paul II (whose feast we celebrate today 22nd October).  Subtitled in English. 

Fr Jerzy Popieluszko,  (Poland) now Blessed was neither a social nor a political activist, but a Catholic priest faithful to the Gospel. He wasn't a forceful speaker, but someone of deep conviction and integrity. His sanctity lay in fundamental righteousness that gave people hope even in horrendous situations. He knew that all totalitarian systems are based on terror and intimidation. The Communists saw him as an enemy because he freed people from fear of the system. He exposed the hypocrisy of the Communist regime and he taught believers how to confront totalitarianism. How often Jerzy made St Paul's words his own in his preaching: "Fight evil with good".

On October 19, 1984, the young priest was kidnapped by security agents on his way back to Warsaw after a visit to a parish in the neighboring town of Bydgoszcz. He was savagely beaten until he lost consciousness, and his body was tied up in such a way that he would strangle himself by moving. His weighted body was then thrown into a deep reservoir. His killers carried out their task with unprecedented brutality, which shows their hatred of the faith that the priest embodied. Jerzy's driver, who managed to escape, told what had happened to the press. On 30 October, Popieluszko's bound and gagged body was found in the freezing waters of a reservoir near Wloclawek. Fr Jerzy's brutal murder was widely believed to have hastened the collapse of communist rule in Poland.

He has been recognized as a martyr by the Catholic Church, and was beatified on June 6, 2010

Above two paragraphs from :

For more on his life:

We are now living in the most difficult times in our Church where we see so much sin, rebellion and dissent.  In this series, I now put forward the examples of great Priests who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel, for the sake of Truth in a world where values are turned upside down and where evil is now seen as a good.  We do not know what the future holds but we too may be asked to give our lives for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.  That future is already there for many in some parts of the world where Christians are now being killed for simply being Christian.  We pray to God through the intercession of all the Martyrs for our Church and for courage to withstand whatever comes in the future and we ask for the gift of final perseverance in our faith.  

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