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 […]

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Fr. Kolbe Hero of a Death Camp Relics Moved

Father Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who died as prisoner 16770 in Auschwitz, on August 14, 1941. He volunteered to take the place of another inmate. In order to save the other inmate he said I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children.’ The German soldiers took him up on his offer. He consistently waited until the other prisoners received help before asking for any for himself. His destiny for martyrdom began many years before when as a child he remembered after he had gotten in trouble. ‘That night I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both.’  These words would end up being a foreshadowing of his life many years later. Fr. Kolbe led his fellow prisoners in prayer to the Holy Mother Mary until his death. Some have even said the prison camp at time resembled church as the men awaited their fate. He provided a source of light in a brutally dark and cruel place. He spent two weeks in a cell of death, being starved along with nine other prisoners. He was finally given a lethal injection of carbolic acid on 14 August 1941. […]