Father Wladyslaw Bladzinski - Martyr

Blessed Father Władysław Błądzyński (1908-1944) was born on 6th July 1908 in Myślatycze, province of Mościska, at present located in the Ukraine. Joined the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel on 1st August 1924, where he took vows on 12th December 1926. Having graduated from the Major Seminary in Przemyśl, he was ordained a priest on 26th June 1938. He devoted his life to educating and teaching poor youths in accordance with the adopted guiding principle of "Moderation and Work" in a local comprehensive and vocational secondary school in Pawlikowice near Wieliczka (neighbourhood of Krakow).

During the Second World War he organised and ran a secret secondary school although he knew it would mean punishment by the Nazis. He knew Hitler's Nazism well enough and was aware that it was aimed at the total annihilation of the Polish nation and destruction of the Roman Catholic faith. One day, during a Nazi inspection of his school premises, a Gestapo officer mocked the Catholic religion and Poland, claiming it would never be restored and that the Germans would surely rule the world. Father Władysław retorted without fear: "God is above the world and above the Germans.  He will not let the Polish people die. The war is not over yet and the final victory is to be decided by God, not by the Germans."

During the last random inspection, on 24th April 1944, he was arrested and imprisoned in prison in Montelupich in Krakow. He refused to sign a paper, which claimed that the person responsible for the "crime" of teaching the Polish youths was his superior. Father Władysław assumed all the responsibility himself, thus dooming himself to conviction. In the August of 1944 he was sent to one of the hardest Nazi concentration camps, that of Gross-Rosen, where he was made to work in a quarry. This was a place where Nazi torturers showed no mercy at all, especially towards priests.

The approximate date of his death is 8th September 1944. One of his fellow inmates recalls his death: "One day the S.S. officers who supervised our work made the prisoners carry the heaviest stones. Father Błądziński carried them as long as he could, but at last he fell under one of them. That was the moment the guards were waiting for. One of them leapt to him, and began kicking him, and did not stop until Father Błądziński fell over the edge down the rocky precipice. He was never seen again. Blessed Father Władysław revealed his invincible faith and bravery. Sacrificing his life he gave proof of the most beautiful form of love towards Christ and his fellow man.

 

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