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Polish PM honours priest murdered by communist regime

Calling him one of the greatest heroes of his childhood, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki honoured on Wednesday, Father Jerzy Popiełuszko – a Roman Catholic priest who was murdered at the behest of the communist regime in the Polish People’s Republic by security services 38 years ago.

“Thirty-eight years ago he was murdered by agents of the communist repression apparatus – people who wanted to smother the spark of freedom that [Father Popiełuszko] kindled in Poles with his charisma, comport, and sermons,” PM Morawiecki wrote on Facebook after taking part in thewreath-laying ceremony at the resting place of the priest in Warsaw’s St. Stanislaus Kostka Church square on Wednesday.

“While this crime shocked the then Poland, the sacrifice of Jerzy contributed to the tearing of the Iron Curtain down a couple of years later,” the PM said.

“The stance of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko is the most beautiful expression of what solidarity is,” the PM said during the ceremony. “One man of poor health who challenged the communist empire and despite this empire being gargantuan and mighty his stance contributed to our victory, to reclaiming freedom and regaining independence.”

He went on to recall how the National Day of Remembrance for Steadfast Clergy has been celebrated for four years now, on each anniversary of Jerzy Popiełuszko’s martyrdom and death.

On October 19, 1984, near the village of Górsk in the vicinity of the northcentral Polish city of Toruń, operatives of the communist Interior Ministry’s department tasked with persecuting the Catholic church kidnapped and murdered Father Jerzego Popiełuszko – a priest of the workers, chaplain of the “Solidarity” movement and organiser of Masses for the Homeland conducted in the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Warsaw.

While Pope Benedict XVI beatified Father Jerzy Popiełuszko on June 6, 2010, Pope Francis named him the patron of the “Solidarity” movement. The canonisation process of Jerzy Popiełuszko was initiated on September 20, 2014, at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Créteil, France.

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