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At audience, Pope recalls Solidarity martyr, Father Jerzy Popieluszko

October 19, 2016

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on October 19, Pope Francis paid tribute to Father Jerzy Popieluszko, the “Solidarity priest” whose feast day the Church celebrated that day.

Father Popieluszko “personally expounded the cause of workers and their families, asking for justice and dignified living conditions, civil liberty and the religious freedom for his homeland,” the Pope recalled. He reminded the audience of the Polish priest’s motto, taken from St. Paul: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Father Popieluszko, a highly visible supporter of the Solidarity labor movement, was kidnapped on October 19, 1984; his battered body was found in a reservoir nearly two weeks later. Four agents of the Polish secret-police force were convicted of the killing. More than 400,000 people attended his funeral.

Father Popieluszko was beatified in 2010. A miracle attributed to his intercession has subsequently been reported; if confirmed it would fulfill the requirements for his canonization.

 
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