OUR LADY from CZĘSTOCHOWA: st Sigismund church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionOUR LADY of PERPETUAL HELPLOGO PORTALU

st Sigismund
Roman Catholic parish
05-507 Słomczyn
85 Wiślana str.
Konstancin deanery
Konstancin-Jeziorna municipality
Piaseczno county

st SIGISMUND: st Sigismund church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionst SIGISMUND: XIX c., feretory, st Sigismund church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collection

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Martyrology of the clergy — Poland

XX century (1914–1989)


On 7.x.1999, during his pilgrimage to Homeland, few days before the beatification of 108 martyrs of the II World War, st John Paul II (1920, Wadowice – 2005, Vatican) in the homily in Bydgoszcz said:

Martyrdom is [always a huge and radical] trial for a man. The supreme test of humanity, human dignity in the face of God Himself. Well yes!, it’s the greatest trial for man — right in front of God, but also before the jury of the world that loses sight of the God. The man is victorious in this test, supported by His power and becomes an eloquent witness to this power […]

I regard collection of all evidence about those who gave their lives for Christ as a special duty of our generation's Church. Our age, our [XX] century, had its own particular martyrology not yet fully written down. It needs to be explored, needs to be stated, needs to be noted down. In the same way as the Church of the first centuries had recorded their martyrologies, testimonies of the martyrdoms of the first centuries — and they are still the foundation of our strength today […]

It is imperative to meet this obligation now, when the Third Millenium is upon us, our duty to those who gave witness to Christ in our [XX] century. [For] many proved the words of Book of Wisdom true: «God […] has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a perfect burnt offering »Wis 3, 6 […]

We must honour them for they were not afraid to take this test, and thus they paved the way for us, into the new Millennium. They are a great inspiration for us, and a calling at the same time. Their lives are a shining proof that the world needs such people, God's madmen, who are prepared to walk on the earth as Christ did, as Adalbert, Stanislaus and Maximillian Maria Kolbe did, and so many others.

Those who are going to have the courage to love, and are going to stop at no sacrifice in the hope that in future it will bear the greatest fruit”…

Humbly stooping over this papal imperative of recording „martyrology not yet fully written down”, wishing to meet this „obligation, duty to those who gave witness to Christ in our [XX] century”, st Sigismund parish in Słomczyn — though being unworthy itself and being able to fulfil it in a tiny degree only — submits, to the memory and judgment of all those who step upon those pages, a „White Book” of martyrology of the clergy of Poland in XX century.

A lexicon (containing short biography, details of death, photographsetc.) of Christian religious, diocesan priests, monks, nuns, etc., that perished in the period symbolically closed by years 1914‑1989 — in our region de–facto defining XX century — includes the following categories of individuals:

  • those who perished on II Polish Republic (1919‑1945) and prl (1945‑1989) territory, irrespectively of nationality and citizenship;
  • Polish nationals, II Polish Republic citizens and those whose ministry was directly linked to Poland and Polish nation who perished beyond II Polish Republic and prl borders; in particular:
    • during 1918‑1989 in Russian concentration camps;
    • during 1939‑1945 in German concentration camps;
  • Lithuanian and Latvian citizens, mainly from Catholic dioceses of those states, from the territories historically belonging to the union of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, who perished:
    • during 1918‑1956 in Russian concentration camps;
    • during 1956‑1989 on the Russian–occupied territories of Lithanian and Latvian republics.

The list contains the individuals whose death may be attributed — directly or indirectly — to actions of others. Such a selection excluding those that died from natural causes is however not always possible. In many cases it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw such a line — for instance in cases of priests exiled from their parishes and territories directly incorporated into German III Reich to German–led so–called General Governorate, or in cases of those exiled to Siberia by the Russians. The authors bear the sole responsibility for the selections made…

Only the persons whose surnames were known at the time of list creation have been included. In cases where the death of religious persons is quoted in the sources without giving particulars the individual has been excluded.

On the other hand in many cases only names are known – no other information is available at this stage.

In general the list has been compiled based mainly on sources available in the net, although not exclusively. Relevant sources are quoted where necessary.

The project is an on–going research effort and will be updated if and when new facts are discovered.

The authors bear the sole responsibility for all errors and/or omissions.

The work has been conducted in gratitude to the brave people who in those terrible times carried not only the torch of faith but the light of human dignity and standard of Polish nation very high indeed…

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At this point it is worth while quoting the words of retired Holy Father, Benedict XVI (b. 1927, Marktl), from his z famous letter about causes of crisis in the Church, published on 10.iv.2019 r.:

There are values which must never be abandoned for a greater value and even surpass the preservation of physical life. There is martyrdom. God is (about) more than mere physical survival. A life that would be bought by the denial ofGod, a life that is based on a final lie, is a non‑life.

Martyrdom is a basic category of Christian existence […]

It is very important to oppose the lies and half–truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil. But […] there is the Holy Church, which is indestructible. Today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, shows Himself to us. Today God also has His witnesses (Lat. 'martyres') in the world. We just have to be vigilant in order to see and hear them.

The word 'martyr' is taken from procedural law. In the trial against the devil, Jesus Christ is the first and actual witness for God, the first martyr, who has since been followed by countless others.

Today's Church is more than ever a 'Church of the Martyrs' and thus a witness to the living God. If we look around and listen with an attentive heart, we can find witnesses everywhere today, especially among ordinary people, but also in the high ranks of the Church, who stand up for God with their life and suffering. It is an inertia of the heart that leads us to not wish to recognize them. One of the great and essential tasks of our evangelization is, as far as we can, to establish habitats of Faith and, above all, to find and recognize them”.

Authors of the „White Book” where also led and accompanied, apart from the words and teachings of Holy Father, St John Paul II, by the words of an accomplished Polish poet:

[…] Mr Cogito
to the highest tottering
step of indefiniteness

how difficult it is to establish the names
of all those who perished
in the struggle with inhuman power

the official statistics
reduce their number
once again pitilessly
they decimate those who have died a violent death
and their bodies disappear
in the abysmal cellars
of huge police buildings

blinded by gas
deafened by salvos
by fear and despair
are inclined toward exaggeration

accidental observers
give doubtful figures
accompanied by the shameful
word „about”

and yet in these matters
accuracy is essential
we must not be wrong
even by a single one

we are despite everything
the guardians of our brothers

ignorance about those who have disappeared
undermines the reality of the world

it thrusts into the hell of appearances
the devilish net of dialectics
proclaiming there is no difference
between the substance and the spectre

therefore we have to know
to count exactly
call by the first name
provide for a journey

in a bowl of clay
millet poppy seeds
a bone comb
and a ring of faithfulness


Zbigniew Herbert — „Mr Cogito on the Need for Precision” — excerpt (translation: John and Bogdana Carpenter)


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