Messenger of the Truth DVD

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Jerzy Popieluszko, Messenger of The Truth” narrated by Catholic actor and activist Martin Sheen, is one of the first feature documentary films to reveal the story of Polish martyr and a true 21st century hero of human rights, Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Father Jerzy was an ordinary priest, who’s strong faith, conviction and courage mobilized a nation to believe that they were indeed free in their own hearts. His pursuit of the truth stood against the Soviet-backed regime’s pursuit of power. They were willing to kill and he was willing to die. The Soviet’s saw this one man, speaking the truth in a country full of lies as a real threat.

“Totalitarian systems destroy man because they captivate  his insides, his thoughts, free will and conscience,” Popieluszko said during one of his sermons. “The only efficient defense against these systems is the truth.”

The truth he spoke of gave his people strength and courage as evidenced by the crows at his masses that grew to 25,000. The truth was the source of faith, hope and love that united the people and gave rise to the spiritual fortitude that would ultimately destroy the communist regime. The truth was revolutionary.

“Telling the truth with courage is a way of leading directly to freedom,” Father Popieluszko preached. “To do this we must overcome fear. This fear makes us act against our conscience and it is by means of conscience that we measure truth.”

Father Jerzy’s example and message of human rights, justice, the truth and personal freedom ignited a faithful nation to not only dream of freedom, but have the courage to make it a reality. “Messenger of The Truth” is his story.

The film was awarded first place in the documentary category at the 28th International Catholic Film Festival in Warsaw and won the Christopher Award as best TV documentary. The film is based on the original book, The Priest & The Policeman by John Moody and Roger Boyes, and was rewritten in 2014 by Roger Boyes and entitled Messenger of The Truth. It is directed by Tony Haines, written and produced by Paul Hensler and executive produced by Gary and Nancy Chartrand.

To purchase this film please go to: Messenger of the Truth

 

 

 

1 review for Messenger of the Truth DVD

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Paul Hensler

    May 31, 2014
    June 1-2: Triumph with ‘Messenger of The Truth’ on PBS

    By Anita Crane

    This Sunday, June 1, and Monday, June 2, a miracle of sorts takes place on mainstream TV as PBS affiliates broadcast a documentary about a heroic Catholic priest. “Messenger of The Truth” is about Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, chaplain to the Solidarity labor union that nonviolently took down the communist regime in Poland.

    Some efforts to describe this documentary are a little dry, but Father is utterly compelling. Above all, he loved the person of Truth Himself and he loved his fellow and sister Poles more than his own life. Today, as we struggle to secure true freedom, Father Popieluszko is a model because he shows us the meaning of Catholic integrity.

    One of the best eyewitness accounts comes from Janusz Kolanski, a poet and member of The Underground, a group of writers and artists who fought communism. Kolanski, an agnostic, explained why even non-Catholics followed Father and went to his Masses: “Father Popieluszko was one of us. And we knew that he loves our country as we love our country, and that he’s not afraid.”

    Background

    At the 1945 Yalta Conference, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt handed Poland over to Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, when they had no right or authority to do so. Two years later, Jerzy Popieluszko was born to faithful Catholic parents in that very country and he would become the Kremlin’s No. 1 enemy.

    In 1966, young Popieluszko began serving his compulsory two-year term in the Polish People’s Army. There, he refused to stop praying the Rosary and other prayers. There, he refused to take off his scapular. There, he was punished severely and it took a toll on his physical health for the rest of his life.

    An eyewitness historian says Popieluszko was “tiny,” and the filmmakers say he “wasn’t the brightest” student at his seminary. Yet he was ordained a priest in 1972 and proved himself a magnificent, brilliant soul who led the Polish people in almost every aspect of their lives. At any moment, he could have been executed for speaking against the government, but still he preached, “Justice and the right to know the truth require us, from the pulpit, to repeatedly demand a limit on censorship.”

    As the story goes, by the 1970s some 95 percent of Poland’s 38 million people were Catholic. Nazis and then Communists had tried to crush the Catholic Church by arresting, torturing and murdering her priests and religious sisters, but Polish Catholics kept the faith.

    Awestruck that one of their own had been elected the Vicar of Christ, after Pope John Paul II’s visit to Poland in 1979, Catholics formed the labor union Solidarity.

    Solidarity

    In 1980, workers from Huta Warsaw Steel Mill wrote to their bishop asking for a church. He named Saint Stanislaws Kotska Church and Father Popieluszko was chosen to be their chaplain. Popieluszko was their priest, their spiritual advisor, their teacher and their strategist. He was a friend their families and set up an intricate network to help them survive. The steel workers even asked Father to help design their flag, then he and 20,000 workers marched in Warsaw to the church announcing Solidarity, which nearly every Polish worker joined.

    After that, the Kremlin appointed General Wojciech Jaruzelski and other brutes to crack down on the Poles. He announced martial law, sent Secret Police to spy on every church, and ordered the Solidarity offices destroyed. Jaruzelski arrested some Solidarity leaders and had others killed. Nevertheless, Poles flocked to the Masses said by Father Popieluszko 10,000 at a time because, Janusz Kolanski said, that’s where they felt free.

    “Messenger of The Truth” was written by John Moody and Roger Boyes, who had worked as journalists for Time magazine and The Times of London, respectively. It’s based on their 1987 book “The Priest and the Policeman: The Courageous Life and Cruel Murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko.” Both men appear in the film along with other eyewitnesses, including officials from the Polish Communist Party.

    In the movie, Solidarity leaders Lech Walesa and Karol Szarduski speak of Father Popieluszko’s phenomenal impact. Father’s driver, Waldemar Chrostowski, recalls the kidnapping of his beloved friend. Father Popieluszko’s brother, Jozef, recounts the sorrowful task of identifying his brother’s dead body, whose face was beaten beyond recognition.

    Martin Sheen narrates the film, but it is the voice of Father Popieluszko that inspires me like it inspired the Polish people. If you want a better life in America, learn from a master by watching “Messenger of The Truth.” It airs in some cities on June 1 and in other cities on June 2. The PBS channels and show times are listed online at http://www.MessengerofTheTruth.com.

    © Anita Crane

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