LIFE AND WORK OF BLESSED FATHER JERZY POPIEŁUSZKO
|14/9/1947||The son of Marianna and Władysław Popiełuszko was born in the village of Okopy near Suchowola in Eastern Poland.||16/9/1947||The child was baptised under the name of Alfons in family parish church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul in Suchowola.|
|1/9/1954||He started primary school at Suchowola.|
|1961 – 1965||He learned at secondary school in Suchowola where he passed high school exams.|
|24/6/1965||He submitted documents and became a student of Metropolitan Higher Seminary of St. John the Baptist in Warsaw. He started studies in September.|
|25/10/1966||He was inducted into and fulfilled a compulsory military service in a special unit of high restricion for seminary students in Bartoszyce. That kind of units was a part of carefully planned system of atheistic indoctrination compelling seminarists to abandon their studies and vocation to the priesthood. As a seminarist-soldier Alfons Popiełuszko has a great courage in defending his view, which made him subject to various forms of discrimination and severe often corporal punishments.|
|16/10/1968||He returned to the seminary.|
|18/4/1970||Having returned from military service he contracted a serious illness and had surgery. Due to complication he was close to death. The seminarists at seminary prayed for his colleague day and night. Popiełuszko nealry miraculously survived.|
|13/5/1971||He changed the name from Alfons to Jerzy.|
|12/3/1972||He took the deacon’s orders.|
|28/5/1972||He received the Holy Orders from Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Primate of Poland.|
|19/6/1972||He was appointed as a curate in the parish of Holy Trinity in Ząbki (near Warsaw).|
|4/10/1975||He began his service in the parish of Our Lady the Queen of Poland in Anin (near Warsaw).|
|20/5/1978||He was transferred to the parish of the Child Jesus in Żoliborz district of Warsaw.|
|19/2/1979||He was appointed a chaplain of middle medical staff in Warsaw.|
|25/5/1979||Beacuse of his health problems he was moved to the St. Anne’s Academic Church in Warsaw, where he conducted discission meetings for students of medicine.|
|20/5/1980||He began his ministry service in the parish church of St. Stanislaus Kostka as a resident. He was in charge of specialist health care service.|
|31/8/1980||He celebrated the first Holy Mass for striking workers in ”Warsaw” steelworks.|
|28/2/1982||For the first time he celebrated the Holy Mass for the Homeland in St. Stanislaus Kostka’s Church in Żoliborz.|
|12/12/1983||Father Jerzy was interrogated in District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw. Vice-regional public prosecutor Anna Jackowska decided to inform Father Jerzy Popiełuszko of the charges against him. A flat of Father Jerzy in Chłodna Street had been serached and as a result Father Jerzy was detained for two days in the Mostowski Palace in Warsaw.|
|27/12/1983||Jerzy Urban, the government spokesman, published a defamatory article against Father Jerzy Popiełuszko under a pen name Michał Ostrowski (in „Express Wieczorny” of 27/12/1983).|
|2/1/1984||On request of archbishop Bronisław Dąbrowski, Father Jerzy invalidated the charges and attacks of Jerzy Urban, the government spokesman.|
|26/6/1984||Father Jerzy was interrogated in District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw.|
|2/7/1984||In District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw Father Jerzy was informing the subject of the charges levelled against him for his allegedly ”abusing the function of priest and making churches a place of anti-state propaganda which is detrimental to the interests of communist Poland i.e. commiting an offence under Art. 194 of the Penal Code in connection with Art. 58”.|
|12/6/1984||Father Jerzy was interrogated by Secret Service in the Mostowski Palace in Warsaw and he was presented with an indictment.|
|12/7/1984||Vice-regional public prosecutor Anna Jackowska brought an indictment against Father Jerzy Popiełuszko in District Court for the capital city of Warsaw in Warsaw.|
|24/8/1984||Warsaw District Court remitted penal proceedings in a case of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko.|
|12/9/1984||The Soviet newspaper Isviestia published Leonid Toporkov’s article slandering ”Solidarność” and Father Jerzy Popiełuszko.|
|25/9/1984||The meeting of high officials concerning the ways of ”silence” the priests acting to the detriment of the state took place in the Department of the Interior Ministry in Warsaw.|
|30/9/1984||Father Jerzy participated in the Polish Workmen’s Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra as their chaplain.|
|9/10/1984||Officials of the Interior Ministry decided to eliminate Father Jerzy Popiełuszko.|
|13/10/1984||Father Jerzy went to Gdańsk accompanied by Waldemar Chrostowski (his driver) and Seweryn Jaworski. He celebrated the Holy Mass at St. Bridget’s Church.
On his way to Gdańsk from Warsaw Father Jerzy was followed by a car of Security Service officials: Grzegorz Piotrowski, Leszek Pękala and Waldemar Chmielewski. On the way back from Gdańsk to Warsaw, near Ostróda, around midnight, they tried to simulate car accident which was the first attempt on Father Jerzy’s life.
|19/10/1984||Father Jerzy with his driver Waldemar Chrostowski arrived from Warsaw to Bydgoszcz in the afternoon. At 6.00 p.m. Father Jerzy celebrated the Holy Mass and then the Rosary service in the Church of Polish Martyr Brothers in Bydgoszcz.
Around 10.00 p.m. Father Jerzy was returning to Warsaw and abducted in Przysiek near Toruń by Security Service (SB) officials: Grzegorz Piotrowski, Leszek Pękala and Waldemar Chmielewski. He was hit hard on his head and all body, gagged and threw into the boot. Finally the kidnappers threw the body of Father Jerzy into the Vistula River near the Włocławek dam.
|30/10/1984||The corpse of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko was discovered in the reservoir on the Vistula River near Włocławek.|
|2/11/1984||The autopsy of Father Jerzy’s corpse carried out by Prof. Maria Byrda and Dr. Tadeusz Jóźwik was made at the Forensic Medicine Unit in Białystok.|
|3/11/1984||The Funeral Mass of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko was presided over by Cardinal Józef Glemp, the Primate of Poland and celebrated by 6 bishops and over a thousand priests. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over Poland participated in the funeral.
According to the Decree of Cardinal Józef Glemp, Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko was buried in a grave next to the St. Stanislaus Kostka’s Church in Warsaw.
By: Fr. Gabriel Bartoszewski OFMCap