The beatification mass of the Ulma family began in Markowa, Podkarpacie. The Ulma family helped Jews during the occupation. They were shot by the Germans in 1944. The liturgy with the participation of state authorities, headed by President Andrzej Duda, is presided over by the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal. Marcello Semeraro.
Masha in Latin is concelebrated by about a thousand priests and 80 bishops, including: the chairman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the Primate of Poland Wojciech Polak and the host of the place, the Metropolitan of Przemyśl, Archbishop Adam Szal. Several dozen bishops from abroad also came.
The beatification liturgy is attended by representatives of the highest state authorities: the president Andrzej DudaMarshal of the Sejm Elizabeth Witek and members of the government. There are also guests from abroad and representatives of the diplomatic services and the army.
Latin formula, portrait, “Hallelujah”
During the liturgy, the papal delegate Cardinal Semeraro will deliver the beatification formula in Latin, after which it will be read out in Polish. Then, the beatification portrait of the new blesseds will be unveiled, based on their photographs. The choir will sing a solemn “Alleluia” and the relics of the Ulma family will be brought to the altar in a procession. During this time, the faithful will sing a song in honor of the blessed, composed especially for this occasion.
– What is unique about this beatification is that the Church recognized the fact of martyrdom in the Ulma family. We are not saying that this family is good or beautiful, but we are talking about the fact of martyrdom – said Cardinal. Semerara. He stressed that their death was not a political murder. – Hatred on the part of the persecutors was caused by the fact that the Ulma family took in members of two Jewish families – the hierarch pointed out.
Over 34,000 people were expected at the beatification ceremony of the Ulma family.
“The best people in the world”
– By participating in this beatification, we want to honor and respect the Ulma family, which belongs to the Righteous Among the Nations, because they are the best people in the world, people whose testimony we need today – told PAP the chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich. As he noted, “this event is more necessary for us than for them, because every day is in our lives choice between good and evil.”
He emphasized that “the beatification of the Uma family is a question about the quality of our lives, whether we are just people, whether we want to be such people, or whether we choose the opposite path.”
Today we have a choice of who we want to be. Who will be our reference point. Which pattern do we want to follow – according to how the Righteous Among the Nations lived, or – God forbid – like those who collaborated with the Germans? – said the rabbi.
Markov. Beatification of the Ulma family
The beatification of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children, murdered on March 24, 1944 by the Germans for saving Jews, takes place in the place of their death. 16 people died in the massacre. First, the Jews – the two daughters of the Ulma neighbors – the Goldmans: Golda (Genia) Gruenfeld and Lea Didner with their little child, and three Szall brothers, their 70-year-old father Saul Szall and another man from the Szall family. Then Józef and his wife Wiktoria, who was seven months pregnant, were shot in front of the Ulma children. At the end, the children were killed – eight-year-old Stanisława, six-year-old Barbara, five-year-old Władysław, four-year-old Franciszek, three-year-old Antoni and one-and-a-half-year-old Maria.
The beatification process of the Ulma family lasted a total of 20 years.
Righteous among the Nations
In 1995, Wiktoria and Józef Ulma were posthumously honored by the Israeli Yad Vashem Institute with the title of Righteous Among the Nations, and in 2010 by the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. Since 2018, at the request of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, it has been celebrated by the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland National Day of Remembrance of Poles Saving Jews under German Occupation.
Out of 51 countries in the world, Poles are the largest national group among the Righteous (7,232 people). In the General Government (Polish territories occupied by Germany) helping Jews was punishable by death.
Main photo source: PAP