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Monday, November 29, 2021

Father Jan Franciszek Macha proclaimed blessed in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Katowice

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Father Jan Franciszek Macha, a Silesian priest involved in the charity work, killed in 1942 by the Nazis, was proclaimed blessed. In the Katowice Church, he will be remembered every year on December 2, on the eve of the next anniversaries of his martyrdom.

Saturday’s beatification ceremony in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Katowice was presided over by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Polish hierarchs were present, including Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the chairman of the Polish Episcopate Conference and Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the primate of Poland, relatives of the blessed, numerous representatives of local and state authorities.

– Let the cult of the new blessed be expressed in this Silesian land not only through monuments and stone plaques, but through specific works of merciful love, especially in degraded post-industrial estates, by reaching out to those whose human dignity is wounded today, said Cardinal Semeraro in his homily, read in Polish by Marek Szkudła, auxiliary bishop of Katowice.

Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro during the beatification mass of Fr. Jan Franciszek MachaPAP / Andrzej Grygiel

Semeraro assessed that “the testimony that John Francis Macha, blessed today, gave to Jesus in the history of the Church in Upper Silesia, constitutes a card of truly heroic faith and love.”

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“We, Pope Francis (…), with our apostolic authority, allow the venerable Servant of God, Father Jan Franciszek Macha, diocesan priest, martyr, tireless shepherd, zealous witness of Christ’s love and truth, his kingdom, to be called the Blessed” – says the papal formula beatification delivered by Cardinal Semeraro.

Relics of the new blessedPAP / Andrzej Grygiel

Blessed in the Catholic Church – What Does It Mean?

In the Catholic Church, a blessed person is a person who, during his lifetime, was characterized by special virtues inspired by religious experience or who, for religious reasons, died a martyr’s death. In the act of beatification, the Church allows the public worship of such a person on a local scale, while canonization – proclaiming a saint – means worshiping the entire Church.

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Saturday’s beatification of Father Jan Macha, as assessed by Katowice Auxiliary Bishop Grzegorz Olszowski, was the most important event in the nearly 100-year history of the Archdiocese of Katowice, crowning the first stage of getting to know Father Macha – the stage of getting to know his holiness. – There is still a further way ahead of us, now we need to make friends with the saint – the auxiliary bishop of Katowice explained during the meeting preceding Saturday’s ceremony.

Mass beatification of Fr. Jan Franciszek MachaPAP / Andrzej Grygiel

During his visit to Silesia, Cardinal Semeraro also visited, among others, Jasna Góra, the family parish elevated to the altars in Chorzów Stary, and laid flowers in front of the Wujek mine in Katowice.

Who was Father Jan Macha?

Father Jan Macha was born on January 18, 1914 in Chorzów Stary. He was a priest for less than three years. As a priest, he began to help the victims of Nazi terror by organizing material and spiritual help.

In September 1941, he was arrested at the Katowice train station. During numerous interrogations, he was tortured and then sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out by guillotine beheading on the night of December 2-3, 1942 in the Katowice prison at Mikołowska Street. At the time of his death, Hanik, as his family and friends called him in Silesian, was only 29 years old.

“His life and work will remain an unforgettable historical testimony of the truth, a moving story about the criminal face of the German occupation in Poland, but also to an even greater extent – about a deeply human, Christian – and patriotic attitude of his and similar Polish clergymen, conspirators, scouts and social activists of that time. time “- reads a fragment of President Andrzej Duda’s letter to the beatification ceremony.

Main photo source: PAP / Andrzej Grygiel



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