Martial Law


First Attempt to Silence Popieluszko, December 26 1982

First Attempt to Silence Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko

Introduction by Paul Hensler:  Father Popieluszko was wrapping a few meager Christmas presents in his apartment on December 13, 1982, the first anniversary of martial law. Small gifts to be distributed to the families of political prisoners and the few shut-ins who lived close to his church. The Secret Police could silence Popieluszko, stopping his monthly masses either directly by building up criminal charges against the priest, or by stealth, by demonstrating that the he was in so much personal danger the Church should transfer him. Perhaps to Rome, perhaps to the countryside, far away from workers from intellectuals and from Solidarity. They decided on the third option, scare him, show the Church that he was in grave danger. They delivered an early Christmas present to Father Jerzy on December 13th, a half-stick of dynamite, tied to a brick, wrapped in Christmas paper and thrown through Father Popieluszko’s apartment window. Father Jerzy was not hurt as the bomb landed behind his bookshelves and went off with a dull thud.  The only damage was a burn hole in the carpet and a lot of smoke. “In the beginning of 1982 we really didn’t think the priest was in danger”, says Karol Sadurski of the Huta Steel Mill, “But the first attack on Father Jerzy’s life in December 1982 and that was a first warning sign that his life was in peril. We took turns watching him, and guarding his flat – that was the moment we decided he needed protection.” Holy Mass for the Fatherland on […]


First anniversary of Martial Law, August 1982

First anniversary of Martial Law, August 1982 1

Introduction by Paul Hensler: As the first anniversary of martial law approached Father Jerzy became more and more aware that the regimes letter writing campaign against him was causing concern with his Primate, Cardinal Glemp. He had to find a way to continue speaking the truth – but find others to say the actual words. In his sermon at the Fatherland Mass of August 29, he uses the quotes of three powerful church leaders to deliver his anti-government message.; First, Pope John Paul II, “The first love of those who govern is the love of those whom they govern”, then a quote from the late Cardinal Wyszynski, “Governments cannot be tyrants and a country cannot become an organized prison” and finally Primate Glemp” First, release Lech Walesa, Second, release all the interned.” It seemed that Father Popieluszko could not be deflected from his mission by the needling policies of the authorities, but he was becoming dog-tired. Small signs showed that the police and its informer network were drawing their web closer around him. The sermon of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, August 29, 1982: Holy Mass for the Fatherland on August 29, 1982 was celebrated by Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko who delivered the sermon. [opening remarks] As each month, on the last Sunday, we gather at Christ’s altar to send up our prayers for the freedom of our Country. Free- dom which, as Monsignor Bogucki said a month ago, is not ours through anyone’s grace, but is given to us by God. Man was created free to such […]


August 29, 1982

Holy Mass for the Fatherland on August 29, 1982 was celebrated by Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko who delivered the sermon. [opening remarks] As each month, on the last Sunday, we gather at Christ’s altar to send up our prayers for the freedom of our Country. Freedom which, as Monsignor Bogucki said a month ago, is not ours through anyone’s grace, but is given to us by God. Man was created free to such an extent that even God will not take it from him. That is why those who, having no right to do this, in restricting personal freedom, do evil. Today we want to include in our prayers all of our country’s painful issues. Especially we want to include those who suffer for her most. We feel united and free in our prayers. We trust in the help from our Holy Mother, Queen of Poland and we call out to Her from the depths of our hearts: as free people, with songs, with prayers, with suffering, with tears take these to the throne of God. [homily] Holy Father John Paul II, in his proclamation on the Day of Peace, which had also been reported in our press, says: Government is service. To govern means to serve. The first love of these who govern is the love of those whom they govern, those who are governed by them. If this were the case, if this great Christian truth would finally be realized, if the governing powers were moral, if their basic principles were governed by Christian […]


april 25 1982

April 25 1982

[opening remarks] Holy Mass for the Fatherland on April 25 1982 was celebrated by Father Jerzy Popieluszko who delivered the sermon. Our intention for today’s Mass is the supplication for our country’s well being, for peace in our country.  During the Mass we shall pray especially for those deprived of their liberty, for persons arrested, interned, condemned, and the intentions of their families.  Although, due to the government’s decision, the union “Solidarity” has been suspended, let us permit ourselves, on this day, to mention a special anniversary.  Exactly a year ago the bells of our church joyfully announced with happy chimes the blessing of the NSZZ “Solidarnosc Huta Warszawa” banner.  This celebration was also attended by Rev. Bishop Zbigniew Kraszewski as a personal representative of our deceased Primate.  So we shall pray, in a very special way, for our Warsaw workers and for all the workers of our country.   [homily] Almighty God, Lord of our fathers!  We stand before your altar begging for freedom in our country.  We are here in the fifth month of martial law and on the 134th day of our country’s anguish.  We humbly bow our heads to beg you for strength to endure and wisdom to attain unity, to ask for your blessing.  We stand before you, o Lord, on this first anniversary of the blessing of our “Solidarity Huta Warszawa” banner.  The banner which, as well as the word “Solidarity” bears the face of your servant, ST. Florian, the patron of miners and firefighters.   This banner, the pride […]