Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko
“He was a flash and blood person. A completely common student, altar boy, seminary student, priest. Commonly intelligent. He was not born a saint, he had his weaknesses (…) His character may be encouraging for all common and average that think that holiness is only for great and chosen ones”.
History of Fr. Jerzy
The God’s servant,Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko was born on September 14, 1947 in Okopy, in the Podlasie region. It was there where he also spent his childhood years. In the nearby Suchowola town he completed an elementary school and a high school; there he served also as an altar boy and joined a parish ministry. After graduating from high school in 1965, he entered the Seminary in Warsaw. During his studies in the years of 1966-1968 he served a compulsory military service in a special army unit in Bartoszyce. After returning to the - Seminary, he spent a long time in hospital where he had a thyroid surgery. He received his priestly ordination in 1972, after which he provided pastoral ministry as a parish vicar in the parishes near Warsaw: in Ząbki (1972-1975), Anin (1975-1978), and next in Warsaw, in the Infant Jesus Parish. In 1979-1980 he provided religious education for students of medicine at the university church of St. Anna. During this time he also became a diocesan priest of health care professionals and workers.
In 1980 he was transferred as a resident to the parish of St. Stanisław Kostka at the Żoliborz District. Since the August strikes in “Warsaw Ironworks” he became a priest of the workers’ community which at that time was completely secularized. Since January 1982 he celebrated the holy Mass every month for the motherland, giving them soon incredible momentum and spiritual depth, which started to attract more crowds of participants during these liturgical meetings. On the night of October 19,1984 he was abducted by the officers of special services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and brutally murdered. The funeral, which gained a spontaneous title of a “historical” one due to its religious and patriotic significance, as well as a number of participants (over half a million), took place in Warsaw on November 3. The body of the killed priest, due to numerous requests of various communities, was buried by the church at the Żoliborz District, where he provided pastoral ministry.