Polish Missionary Martyrs an Example for WYD2016 Pilgrims

On December 5th in Peru, the beatification of the Polish Franciscan missionary martyrs Fr. Michal Tomaszeka and Fr. Zbigniew Strzalkowski, as well as Fr. Alessandro Dordi from the Italian Diocese of Bergamo, took place in Peru. At the same time, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated at the basilica of the Franciscans Fathers in Krakow to honour the lives of these modern day Saints.

The Polish missionaries were murdered on August 9, 1991 in Peru in the Pariacoto District by terrorists from the Communist Work Party the “Shining Path”. It was alleged that that "they humiliated the people, distributing food that came from imperialists, that religion is an opiate for the masses, that while declaring peace and taking evangelical and charismatic actions they lull the people, so that the masses would not undertake a revolutionary uprising,” explained Sr. Berta Hernandez in her testimony.

“Let us go forward, with peace and dignity. Martyrs are fundamental for the life of the Church and also for mission. Let us try to be worthy of their offerings”, wrote Fr. Lanfranco Serrini, the Minister General of the Franciscan Order of Monks on August 10 1991 – after the death of the monks – to the provincial in Krakow.

Let us pray that the example of Fr. Michal Tomaszeka and Fr. Zbigniew Strzalkowski will inspire pilgrims as they journey towards Krakow for World Youth Day 2016. Pray for us!

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