Father Finigan has a fine post about his trip to Poland and his visit to the shrine of Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko.
Bl Jerzy’s name was one that resonated greatly in my life as a youth; it serves as a rebuke to a mind grown used to the lazy comfort that a monstrous evil no longer crouches over Eastern Europe as it did throughout my childhood and youth.
Here is the chapel where Blessed Jerzy preached the sermons that so infuriated the communists that they beat him to death, tied him up, put his body in the boot of their car and then dumped it in the river Vistula.
Whenever we feel oppressed or persecuted as Catholics, we must look to Bl Jerzy and consider it in the light of of a brutal persecution that happened in Europe in the lifetimes of ourselves or our parents.
And I suggest that we should pray for the intercession of the Bl Jerzy that the indifference to religion in modern society does not, once more, become the active persecution that atheists and secularists have inflicted on us since the French revolution.
A really splendid blog entry. Without wanting to detract from the great life and the martyrdom of Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko, I could mention that today is also the feast day of another Catholic martyr, killed for his opposition to a totalitarian regime, Bl Franz Jägerstätter. The Wikipedia entry reads in part: “When German troops moved into Austria in 1938, Jägerstätter was the only person in the village to vote against the Anschluss in the plebiscite of April 10. The local authorities suppressed his dissent and announced unanimous approval. Although he was not involved with any political organization and did undergo one brief period of military training, he remained openly anti-Nazi and publicly declared he would not fight in the war….(H)e was sentenced to death on July 6 (1943) and subsequently executed by guillotine at Brandenburg-Görden Prison on 9 August 1943, aged 36. In 1946, his ashes were buried at the Sankt Radegund cemetery….The death sentence was nullified by the Landgericht Berlin on 7 May 1997….In June 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic exhortation declaring Jägerstätter a martyr. On 26 October 2007, he was beatified in a ceremony held by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins at the New Cathedral in Linz. His feast day is the day of his christening, May 21.”