Catholic Church Beatifies Polish Family for Harboring Jews

Catholic Church Beatifies Polish Family for Harboring Jews: A Polish family of nine, including a newborn child, who died at the hands of Nazi Germans during World War Two was beatified by the Catholic church on Sunday for harboring a Jewish family from the Holocaust.

The beautification service for Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma along with their seven children took place at Markowa, a town in southeast Poland, where they were murdered by the German military in March 1994, the Vatican reports.
Beatification marks the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
The mass was presided over by  Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saint. It was concelebrated by 7 cardinals and one thousand priests. In attendance at the mass were Poland’s president and prime minister, among other thousands of faithful. An authorization letter from Pope Francis the Catholic head, was read by Cardinal Marcello during the mass.

“We authorize that from now on the venerable Servants of God, Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma, spouses and their seven children… (who) fearlessly sacrificed their lives for the sake of love for their brothers and welcomed into their home those who suffered persecution, be given the title of blessed,” the letter read.

Speaking at the Vatican, Pope Francis upheld the family noting that they are “a model to imitate in our effort to do good and serve those who are in need”

“In response to the hatred and violence that characterized this times, they embraced evangelical love,” he said, adding that the Ulma family “represented a ray of light in the darkness of the Second World War.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda according to Premier thanked the Catholic Church for the beatification on behalf of the nation.

“Thank you for showing the historical truth about that time, about the fate of Poles and Jews on this land under German occupation, who all wanted to survive and yet did not shrink from such ultimate acts of brotherhood and mercy,” he said.

The Ulma’s beautification marks the first time in the history of the catholic church that an entire family is honored together in this manner.




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