Bl. Jerzy Popiełuszko came from a simple yet devout Catholic farming family. He lived a quiet, normal life—and then joined the seminary.
The Communists who controlled Poland at the time had set up a special military unit for seminarians, designed to discourage and dissuade them from becoming priests. The unit had no practical duties, only useless and grueling tasks, and the seminarians were drilled in propaganda and Communist lies. Often, this method of killing vocations worked.
But not on Popiełuszko.
He was a natural leader, steel-strong in his faith, fearless in the face of Communism. Nothing could break him. The unit leaders punished him severely on repeated occasions, but all they accomplished was weakening his physical health.
Finally, he finished his term in the army and was ordained. From the pulpit, he condemned Communism and encouraged the Polish not to fear it. He drew thousands of Polish from across the country to the Masses he celebrated.
And the Communists hated him. They hated and feared his unbending courage.
They tried undermining his reputation.
They tried arresting him for disturbing the peace.
They tried getting him into a fatal motor “accident.”
Finally, they had to outright murder him.
They succeeded at last—but not as they had expected. They had succeeded in providing a heroic martyr for not just Poland—but the world—to draw courage and hope from.
Many reports of miracles through Popiełuszko’s intercession are being investigated. Inspired by encountering one of these potential miracles firsthand, Fr. Bernard Brien penned Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko: Truth vs. Totalitarianism. This gripping biography presents an intimate portrait of the heroic Polish priest who fought a regime of terror with prayer, peace, and persistence. Get your copy today at The Catholic Company!