Honoratus, born Wencesalo Kozminski, was born in Biala Podlaska October 16, 1829. He received his early education at home and completed his primary studies in Plock, then went to Warsaw to study architecture. In 1846 he suffered a religious crisis, after which he entered the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in Warsaw, and was ordained a priest on December 27, 1852. He dedicated himself to an intense pastoral care and founded over 26 religious institutes, 18 of which exist today. He was a prolific writer, spiritual director and sought out confessor. He died in Nowe Miasto December 16, 1916. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 16, 1988. Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Anicet Adalbert (Wojciech Anicet) Koplinski, Priest and Martyr
Debrzyno, Poland, July 30, 1875 – Auschwitz, Poland, October 16, 1941
Father Aniceto (born Wojciech Koplinski), Capuchin priest born in Debrzyno (Poland) on July 30, 1875, while the Polish homeland was in the hands of German invaders, were deported to the concentration camp of Auschwitz where they died entrrambi October 16, 1941, the first in the gas chamber and the second killed by the captors instead of the field.
And from the end of a life that often receives its light. This finding is doubly true for a man who, on June 13, 1999 in Warsaw was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II during his eighth trip to Poland. This man would have remained unknown had he not come to the altars. But his story sheds yet another light in both dark chapter of German history this century. And even in human affairs, its purpose was obvious who and for what is experienced.
We’re talking about Anicet Koplinski, a Capuchin who so far escaped the chronicles of the world. Born June 30, 1875 in Preußisch-Friedland (now Gmina Debrzno) in the province of West Prussia in Germany, a city bordering with Poland where he was also a strong presence in Poland.
Strong relations in particular, were among the few German Catholics in the area and the group of Poles, mainly because of their common Catholic faith, which gave them the opportunity to participate in the same liturgies and also share the same jobs. The small Adalbert, the name that was imposed in baptism, was the youngest of 12 brothers, a far from wealthy family who made their living with the father’s salary worker. Adalbert, or simply Albert, as everyone called him, also met the Capuchins known at that time for their social apostolate and also had direct experience with them in his youth. On November 23, 1893 he came back in the Capuchin convent in Sigolsheim nell’Alsazia (in Prussia all the Capuchin monastery had been suppressed) belonging to the province Rhine-Westphalia, and received the name of Aniceto (invincible).
The day of the Assumption in 1900 he was ordained a priest and then to perform his ministry primarily in Dieburg, then along in the Ruhr (Werne, Sterkrade, Krefeld) as assistant to the Polish people. At home, he actually had a little Polish study now improved and he had personally during the years of study, using even after the period of leave at his sister who lived in Poland to spend time in a Polish environment. In his apostolate in the Ruhr area his knowledge of the Polish language was very useful, as well as its origin from a family of laborers. He could understand working people, and vice versa, they understood him. This emotional closeness to Poland, did not diminish his love for Germany; he was a man of the frontier, but also a patriot. At the beginning of the outbreak of World War I he composed a poem for the war, compositions that embarrass us today. But even this later put his poetic ability to serve the poor who increasingly became the only goal of his pastoral work.
The turning point in the life of Fr Aniceto was in 1918 in Krefeld when he was given the request to make himself available for the reorganization of church life and the Order in Warsaw. Enthusiastically he accepted this challenge. After long years of Tsarist rule, Poland had regained its freedom. But the economic situation was disastrous, and many were poor and families living in poverty. Nor were there a great many rich, as we see today in different situations in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, India. P. Aniceto became a mediator between these two groups. Without asking anything for himself, always with his poor habit and sandals, he was seen walking the streets of Warsaw to beg for the poor. And what he could get was pinned into the deep pockets of his coat: bread, sausage, fruit, vegetables, sweets for the children. Often he carried it upon his shoulders, or dragged heavy parcels or large suitcases full of basic necessities. On January 25, 1928 he wrote to his provincial Father Ignatius Ruppert, “A particular challenge, which is often a heavy work for me are the many poor and many people here without work for which nearly every day I go out for alms.” He was described as “St. Francis of Warsaw.”
It is not far from the truth if one interprets his work as an alms for the poor as an expression of sporting activity.
Since his youth he had practiced daily lifting of weights. At the prayer of midnight, a tradition that every monk began in the novitiate, he, before the prayer or after returning to the room, he practiced in his specialty. His perseverance led him to a big muscle power so he could do extraordinary things with the joy of his brothers or for the benefit of the poor or even of pastoral service. So he set up tables and benches or showed his skills in the village fairs and then go with the “hat” (skullcap), asking for a reward for the poor. It is said that a police officer who acted violently with his wife and his children, despite his repeated confessions, was unable to improve his aggressive character. One day father Aniceto took him to the sacristy, grabbed his belt and lifted it above his head shouting, “See what you can, and what God will do with you if you continue to be so violent?”. The lesson was effective, the policeman broke free from his violence.
When Father Anicet was not around for the poor, he often sat in the confessional of the Capuchin Church in Warsaw. Each morning he began to take confessions one hour before the Mass and remained there for the next hour, and again in the evening, when he returned to the convent from his begging. He did this work more readily than preach, request that the latter was addressed only infrequently by the superior, because of his limited knowledge of Polish.
For many priests who came to his confessional he gave brief but very effective warnings in Latin, he was chosen as confessor Gawlina Gall and by the bishops, and even by the cardinal and the papal nuncio Kakowski Achille Ratti, the future Pope Pius XI. Normally required to do penance as alms for the poor, penance also given to Cardinal Kakowski which ordered him to donate during the winter time a car of coal for a poor family.
Father Aniceto took care of the soul and the body of others. Asked the rich for bread for the poor, but called the poor to pray for themselves and for the rich “before God takes responsibility for each other. Of great significance was seen in front of his confessiona:: army officers next to the peasants, elegant women near poor widows. The Capuchin had the same love for all. The news that someone was dying made him run to his bedside to comfort him and bring him the sacraments of confession and communion. And if someone died, abandoned by all, he took care of the burial. He often took part in the funeral rites and procession to the cemetery, praying his breviary on the road or the rosary, and sometimes it happened that so great was his immersion in God that he did notice the entry of the cemetery as the procession moved beyond Funeral turn toward the cemetery.
Aniceto Koplinski was of German nationality. He did not hide it, even when the politics of Hitler had begun to be unacceptable. When he was arguing with his brother he often beat his fists against the table talking about the political events in Germany. He saw and understood the spirit of National Socialism and its anti-Christian demonic vision of the world. Aniceto could not come to terms with this current policy. Having experienced since his youth, honesty and faith of the Polish people, he could not stand on their side, to assume, motivated by a radical solidarity, the name of Koplinski. During the first week of German occupation in Poland, he remained in the convent. But soon he was seen engaged in providing assistance to its poor and even those who had to flee because of Nazi violence. From the Germans, using his knowledge of German, he obtained the necessary permits to obtain food, clothing, shoes and medicine. The father Koplinski also strove for non-Catholic Christians and Jews, as testified by the Archbishop Niemira.
For the Gestapo and the Capuchins in particular p. Koplinski were smoke and mirrors. Ascension Day of 1941 took place the first interrogation. The Capuchin Prussian, without fear and frankly, as was his custom, expressed a very heavy thought: “After what Hitler did to Poland, I am ashamed to be a German.” The Capuchin Father could have saved his life, if he had appealed to his German citizenship. This way out, then that would have contradicted the sincerity and spirit of sacrifice that marked his person. The fact is that on June 28, 1941, the day after the air strike in Warsaw, he was arrested along with 20 other brothers and thrown into prison Pawiak. The reason for the arrest was to have read propaganda sheet antinazionalsocialisti and expressing ideas contrary to the new regime.
After he wasrrested his hair and beard were shaved, and even stripped of his religious clothing, but he was allowed to retain his breviary. The Father Superior and Fr Aniceto were tortured to force them to incriminate others, but could not tear their admission that he had incited people to rebellion against the regime. He remained faithful to hisvocation as a religious and a priest, even in the face of threats and reprisals, it is faith openly declared during interrogation: “I am a priest and wherever there are men, I am working: whether they are Jews, Poles, and especially if the suffering and poor. “
On September 3 they were all loaded into a cattle car to be transported to Auschwitz, where they received the much infamous striped jacket and a number of prisoners. Human dignity had been snatched from them; they were among thousands of prisoners to be reduced to a number. At 66, P. Aniceto was used in the block of the disabled, which in turn was close to that of the intended extermination. We do not know very well what he had to endure harassment and abuse during the five weeks that followed, but we are a bit ‘reconstructed from the stories reported that the survivors. We have, however, the direct testimony of his Provincial and fellow prisoner Father Archangel, who said that “Fr Aniceto, newly arrived at the entrance of the camp, was beaten because he could not keep pace with the others, beyond that, he was even bitten by a dog in the SS. During the call the Capuchin monk was put together older people and those who could not work and placed in the block close to that of being destined to death. Throughout this period of suffering Fr Anicet prayed and kept quiet, keeping constant the peace and quiet. “
This testimony is sufficient to make us see that the Capuchin Father, often after having celebrated the Via Crucis and helped others to carry their cross behind Jesus lived this tragic moment of his life to Jesus and united as a painful path to Golgotha. One who not so long ago he had shouted to defend the poor and condemn the sin, now remained silent and prayed. Before being led to the gas chamber, he said to a friend: “We drink to the bottom of the cup.”
On 16 October the captors set up after a short trial, threw Fr Anicet along with other prisoners in a pit and threw them lime, and a painful death, because the lime gives off a violent corrosive activity on living bodies to consume like fire.
After having lived poor and he had undertaken for the poor, Aniceto Koplinski met his maker, dying in absolute poverty.
On the outside was also stripped of everything of the flesh, but inside was filled with a treasure that nobody ever would have been able to wrest faith, dignity and loving attention to others. He died in the hope of resurrection and faith that his suffering and cruel death is an aid to reconcile the divided soul of Germany and Poland, the Jews and the Christians, Catholics and Protestants, the poor and the rich.
Source: The Holy See
Blessed Vincenzo Mattia Cabanes Badenas,Priest and Martyr
February 25 1908, in Torrent (Valencia), Spain-September 29, 1936,Torrent (Valencia), Spain
He is remembered on August 30
Roman Martyrology: In Bilbao also in Spain, blessed Cabanes Badenas Vincent, a priest of the Third Order of St. Francis of the hooded Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin and martyr, who, during the same persecution against the faith, deserved to be admitted to the eternal banquet.
He was Beatified as one of the Blessed Martyrs of Our Spanish Tertiary Capuchin, 19 Spanish members of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows Capuchin Tertiary (or Amigoniani), founded by Venerable Louis Amigo y Rerrer, and a sister, also a Capuchin Tertiary, victims of religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), a sub-group of the 233 victims of the Spanish Civil War Beatified by Pope John Paul on March 11, 2001 .
“ Badenas Cabanes, Vincenzo, eldest of four siblings, was born February 25 1908, in Torrent (Valencia). He had pronounced his religious vows and completed sludi philosophical and theological, March 12, 1932 he was ordained a priest in Madrid. In the set. “ 1933 was rated top of the reformatory of the Prince of Asturias, in Madrid, and optics. the following year he went on to head the Cabinet of psycho-pedagogy of the reformatory Amurrio (Alava), where he was surprised the civil war broke out July 18, 1936.
On the evening of September 27 the same year, militants arrested him in the house where he had fled. During the ride to Orduna (Vizcaya) demanded that the murderers to deny the German, but he opposed proudly displaying the crucifix. Once in Orduna did get in a ditch near the Prado de San Bartolomé where they shot him with several gunshots. Abandoned and badly wounded, managed to crawl to the first houses in the country, where the family Elejalde Arroyo welcomed him: the priest asked for a doctor and a priest. During the night, still clutching the crucifix, he was transferred to the hospital of Basurto (Bilbao). When asked to explain what had happened, he replied: “Do not ask me these things, I speak only of God Let us pray, the pardon of those who have wounded heart,” and did not reveal the names of those who had sho himt. Died September 29, 1936, after two days of great suffering. His remains rest in the ‘chapel of the martyrs, “the convent of Mount Sion in Torrent (Valencia).
“ The cause of canonization of these twenty religious martyrs was conducted at the archidioccsi of Valencia together with seven other cases relating to as many cases of the martyrdom of members of different religious orders and congregations. In 1993-94 was issued the decree of validity of the unified diocesan process of these causes, May 13 1997 the Positio super martyrdom was delivered to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Source: Santi e Beati
Blessed Aurelio Vinalesa (José Alcaide Ample), Priest and Martyr
February 3, 1896, Viñales (Valencia), Spain-August 28, 1938, Viñales (Valencia), Spain
Roman Martyrology: Near the village of Viñales still in the same area, blessed Aurelio (Joseph) Ample Alcaide, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin Priest and Martyr, who, during the same period in the battle for the faith brought the glorious prize.
Was born February 3, 1896 in Viñales (Valencia), third of seven children who were spouses D. Ample and Donna Manuela Vicente Alcaide. He was baptized the day after birth, ie February 4, in the parish of San Honorato bishop, and received Confirmation April 21, 1899.
“ He first studied the Seraphic Seminary of Massamagrell (Valencia). Wore the Capuchin habit in 1912, he made his temporary profession of vows on, August 10, 1913 and perpetual December 18, 1917. He was then sent to Rome to perfect himself in his studies and was ordained a priest in the Eternal City March 26, 1921 by the Archbishop of Filipos, Bishop Joseph Palica. Back in Spain, he was appointed director of the student of philosophy and theology of the Capuchins in Orihuela (Alicante), office held, and overall satisfaction with care until death.
“ “Among the faithful he enjoyed the reputation of a saint – said the priest Worker Diocesan D. Pascual Ortells – and that fame also joined the test. Was faithful observant of all the rules of St. Francis, commit itself to helping its total so that young men were perfect. “
“ During the Revolution of 1936 all the religious of the convent of Orihuela dispersed on July 13. P. Aurelio sought refuge in the family home in Viñales, in which, on 28 August, was captured by gunmen and taken to his place of death. Before being killed he urged all his comrades to die well, gave them absolution, and then added, “Cry aloud, live Christ the King.”
“ He was killed August 28, 1936. His body was interred in the cemetery of Foyos (Valencia), near where he had been killed. After the civil war, his remains were exhumed and carried into the cemetery Vinalesa September 17, 1937. He is currently buried in the chapel of the convent of the Capuchin martyrs Maddalena Massamagrell.
“ P. Aurelio retain the use within, since he was captured until death, all remaining faithful to Christ. “He kept the peace until the last moment – he says Rafael Rodrigo, the witness of his martyrdom – encouraging all of us that we were going to die. When everything was ready for execution, urges us to recite the formula of the act of contrition. So we did, and when the Servant of God was reciting the formula of a militiaman gave him two slaps. One of the militiamen said to his companion not to slap him more, because it was not worth the trouble, given the time of life we have left. The Servant of God remained unchanged and continued to injury before the acquittal until the end. As soon as the Servant of God had finished his sacred duty, a volley rang out and we fell with him all repeating the cry: ‘Long live Christ the King!’.
He was Beatified as one of the Blessed Spanish Capuchins, Martyrs of Valencia, 12 friars and 5 Poor Clares, who suffered martyrdom during the civil war and religious persecution that through their homeland in the 30s of the twentieth century. Pope John Paul II Beatified them on March 11, 2001, together with a group totaling 233 martyrs of the same persecution.
Source: Holy See
Blessed Domenico Maria da Alboraya (Augustine Hurtado Soler), Priest and Martyr
Alboraya (Valencia) on 28 Aug, 1872-August 15
Ordained a priest on Dec. 19, 1896. An experienced teacher, working and cartatevole, had positions of responsibility in his institute. A man of prayer and great devotee of Our Lady of Sorrows, he celebrated the Eucharist with devotion
Roman Martyrology: Always in Madrid, Blessed Domenico (Augustine) Soler Hurtado, a priest of the Third Order of St. Francis of hooded Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin and martyr, who had witnessed Christ, received the crown of glory.
Beatified together with a group known as the Blessed Martyrs Third Spanish Capuchins dell’Addolorata, he was one of 19 religious Spaniards belonging to the Congregation of the Third Capuchins of Our Lady of Sorrows (or Amigoniani), founded by Venerable Louis Amigó y Rerrer, and a sister, also Tertiary Cappuccina, victims of religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).
The cause of canonization of these twenty religious martyrs was conducted at the Valencia archidiocese together with seven other cases relating to the martyrdom of so many cases of members of various religious orders and congregations. In 1993-94 was issued the decree of validity of the unified diocesan process of these cases, on 13 May. 1997 the Positio super martyria was delivered to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Source: Santi e Beati
Blessed Albocacer Modesto (Modesto Garcia Marti),Priest and Martyr
Modesto, Castellón de la Plana, January 18, 1880 – Valencia, August 13, 1936
Roman Martyrology: At the village of Albocàsser in the same region in Spain, Bl Modesto García Martí, a Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and Martyr, who during the persecution against the faith with martyrdom crowned the evangelical precept.
Fr Albocácer was born in Modesto, the diocese of Tortosa and the province of Castellón de la Plana, January 18, 1880. He was the third of seven children of a Christian family, whose parents were D. Francisco Garcia and Donna Joaquina Martí. He was baptized on January 19, 1880 in the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción of Albocácer. As a child he entered the Seraphic Seminary of the Capuchins of the Province of Valencia in Massamagrell. He took the habit in the same convent on January 1, 1896; took his temporary vows January 3 1897 and perpetual vows on January 6, 1900. He completed his studies in philosophy and those of Orihuela to Massamagrell theology, and was ordained a priest on December 19, 1903. He lived most of his apostolic ministry as a missionary in Colombia in the Custody of Bogota. On his return to Valencia was appointed guardian for several years.
Those who knew him speak of him as a priest dedicated to apostolic preaching, spiritual exercises, spiritual direction, … which were, among others, his favorite activities. So said those who lived with him: “His field of apostolate favorite – said Sig.na Pilar Beltrán – was preaching, spiritual exercises and the direction of souls. I heard criticism ever in its work “. He enjoyed a reputation for holiness among the faithful. “His was a peaceful temperament. His most remarkable quality – notes Mr. Daniel Garcia – was kindness. He enjoyed good a reputation among his companions of religion and among the faithful. He was loyal observant of the Franciscan Rules and Constitutions.”
At the time of the Revolution was the guardian of national Olleria (Valencia), where “the community was violently destroyed, the convent and the church destroyed by fire, the pine wood cut from the same monastery, destroyed the walls, so that everything was reduced nothing “. When communications were restored, P. Modesto went to his country and took refuge in the house of his sister Teresa, along with his brother Miguel Mosen priest, pastor of Torrembesora. For her safety he fled the farm la Masa, where he was captured by armed militiamen. P. Modesto was delivered with gentleness and humility – said Mr. Arturo Adell – and without any protest. His attitude during this period – said Sig.na Pilar Beltrán – was the total abandonment to the Lord and an exemplary life.” He was killed at four in the afternoon of August 13, near the basin of the Valley Albocácer between the farm and the Masa, about 600 meters from the farmhouse, on the same road that goes from the farm to the country. After the release of Albocácer exhumations were the remains of P. Modest and then found that his skull had been crossed from side to side by a large nail. His remains – according to Mr. Felipe Mateu were buried in a mass grave of the cemetery in the country and are currently resting in a niche of the cemetery.
He was Beatified on March 11, 2001 as one of 17 Blessed Spanish Capuchins of Valencia.
Source: Holy See
Blessed German of Carcaixent (José Maria Hernandez Garrigues) Capuchin Priest and Martyr
Carcaixent, Valencia, Spain, February 12, 1895 – 1936
Roman Martyrology: In the village of Carcaixent in Valencia in Spain, Blessed Germanus ( José Maria) Garrigues Hernández, a Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and Martyr, who, during persecution against the faith, won the tortures of body with precious death.
Father was born in Germán Carcagente (Valencia), in the bosom of a Christian family, February 12, 1895. He was baptized on his day of birth in the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción of Carcagente Confirmation was received on July 22, 1912 by Bishop Athanasius Fr. Royo Soler, duly authorized by the archbishop of the diocese. In the family of D. Juan Bautista and Donna Garrigues Ana María Hernández were born eight children, three of whom became like our Capuchin, José Maria. Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Matteo da Bascio, founder of the Capuchins
Pennabilli, Pesaro-Urbino, circa 1495 – Venezia, August 6, 1552
Born in the village of Bascio, today in the town of Pennabilli (PU), he became a Franciscan of the Observant branch of the convent of Montefiorentino at Frontino (PU) and was ordained a priest in 1525. Desiring to return to the primitive rigor of Franciscan life, in 1525 he left his monastery and was granted by Pope Clement VII the personal privilege of dressing in a long tunic of rough cloth (such as Francis of Assisi, but with a longer hood and sharp) to observe strictly the rule of absolute poverty, to make a hermitic life and to preach freely. His example gave rise to a number of imitators who began restoring the original spirit of the Franciscan way home and had the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, which thanks to the support of Katherine duchess of Camerino Cybo was approved by the pope on July 3, 1528 with the Bull religionis zelus. In the first general chapter of the order, held in April 1529 in the church of Santa Maria di dell’Acquarella Albacina at Fabriano, Matthew was elected first superior general. Bright omileta, he took part in the great reform movement of the religious life of the sixteenth century. He died in Venice, in the church of San Moisè and buried in the church of San Francesco della Vigna.
Source: Santi e Beati
Blessed Salvatore Ferrandis Segui, Priest and Martyr,Third Spanish Capuchins
Roman Martyrology: At Alicante in Spain, followed blessed Salvatore Ferrandis Segui, Priest and Martyr, who spilled the blood of Christ during the persecution against the faith and obtained the palm of victory.
Pope John Paul II Beatified him on March 11, 2001 in St. Peter’s Square, together wtih 232 other victims of the bloody Spanish Civil War. This wide range of martyrs is divided into several subgroups according to the diocese or congregation to which they belong. The Romanum Martyrologium commemorates those blessed individually or in small groups based on the date and place of where the slaughter occurred.
Blessed Salvatore is part of the subgroup José Aparicio Sanz and 73 companions, priests and laity of the Archdiocese of Valencia.
Source: Santi e Beati
Blessed Francesco Tomas Serer Priest and Martyr
Alicante, Spain, Oct. 11, 1911-August 2, 1936
He professed his temporary vows on September, 15, 1928 and his perpetual vows on December 21. 1933. He was Ordained a priest on May 24, 1934, spent his 2 years of ministry in the reformatory of Amurri (Alava) and Carabanchel Bajo (Madrid). He was persecuted and martyred at 24.
Beatified by Pope John Paul II on December 18, 2000, together with 17 others of his order and a layman.
Roman Martyrology: In Madrid always in Spain, Blessed Francesco Tomás Serer, a Priest of the Third Order of St. Francis of hooded Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin and Martyr, in the same persecution that deserved to pay the blood of Christ.
Source: Santi e Beati
Saint Camillus of Lellis
May 25, 1550, Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, kingdom of Naples, Italy-July 14, 1614, Genoa, Italy
He was the son of a military officer who had served both for Naples and France. His mother died when Camillus was very young. He spent his youth as a soldier, fighting for the Venetians against the Turks, and then for Naples. He was reported to be a large individual, perhaps as tall as 6′6″ (2 metres), and powerfully built, but he suffered all his life from abscesses on his feet. A gambling addict, he lost so much he had to take a job working construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins who converted him.
Camillus entered the Capuchin noviate three times, but a nagging leg injury, received while fighting the Turks, each time forced him to give it up. He went to Rome, Italy for medical treatment where Saint Philip Neri became his priest and confessor. He moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator. Lacking education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old. A Priest, who founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick (the Camellians or Fathers of a Good Death) who, naturally, care for the sick both in hospital and home. The Order expanded with houses in several countries. Camillus honoured the sick as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth. Reported to have the gifts of miraculous healing and prophecy.
Beatified April 7, 1742 By Benedict XIV.
Canonized June 29, 1746 by Benedict XIV.
Blessed Fidelis Jerome Chojnacki
November 1, 1906, Lodz, Poland-July 9, 1942, Dachau
Youngest of six children born to Waclaw and Leokadia Spurinska. Raised in a pious family. Studied in public schools and a military academy. Worked for a year at Szczuczyn Mowogrodzki in the Institute of Social Insurance. Worked at the Central Post Office in Warsaw. Member and administrator of Catholic Action. Worked against alcohol abuse and helped recovering alcoholics in his region. Joined the Secular Franciscan Order at the Capuchin church in Warsaw. Friend of Blessed Anicet Koplinski. Joined the Capuchins on 27 August 1933, taking the name Fidelis.
He developed a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Studied philosphy at Zakroczym. Founded a Club for Intellectual Collaboration for the seminarians. Continued his work with alcoholics, working a group of Franciscans. Studied theology in Lublin, begining in 1937; his studies were interrupted by the German invasion of Poland in September 1939.
Arrested for his faith on 25 January 1940 and held in the “Fortress of Lublin”. On 18 June 1940 he was moved to the prison camp at Sachsenhausen. To this point Fidelis has kept his optimism, hope and simplicity, but this camp broke him; the abuse of himself and the other prisoners sent him into depression. On 14 December 1940 he, with other priests and religious, was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp; tattooed with his prisoner number, and subjected to more abuse.
Abused, starved and over-worked, he developed a serious heart condition, and finally died of excessive abuse. His last words to fellow prisoners as he was being taken away were, “Praised be Jesus Christ; we’ll see each other in heaven.”
One of 102 Martyrs of World War II whose memorial is June 12.
Venerated March 26, 1999 by Pope John Paul II
Beatified June 13, 1999 by Pope John Paul II
Source: Patron Saints Index
Blessed Nicola da Gesturi, 1882 -1958 Read the rest of this entry »