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Relics of a Blessed Polish Priest Given to Budapest Parish

Barbara Bene 2022.09.15.

The relics of Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, a priest of the Polish Solidarity movement, were handed over to the parish of St. Mary of the Stone (Kövi Szűz Mária) in Budapest at a ceremony in the Archbishop’s Palace of the Polish capital by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Archbishop of Warsaw, the Hungarian Ambassador to Warsaw told MTI on Wednesday.

At the ceremony on Tuesday, Hungarian Ambassador to Poland Zsuzsanna Orsolya Kovács, called the example of the common martyrs and saints of Central Europe important for today’s generations. In addition to Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, she highlighted the role of Prince Primate József Mindszenty, Blessed Cardinal and Primate Stefan Wyszynski of Poland, János Esterházy, and Pope John Paul II.

The ambassador said it was poignant that her generation was alive when Father Popieluszko was brutally murdered in 1984.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cardinal Nycz said that the transfer of the relic to the Budapest parish was “one of the symbolic signs that the Church makes in connection with the cult of the saints.” He also recalled the symbolic role of Father Popieluszko in the history of Poland.

“Conquer evil with good,” the Cardinal recalled the words on which Jerzy Popieluszko based his pastoral ministry.

He expressed the hope that the faithful of Budapest would “pray to the martyr priest in the difficult times that Europe is going through today.”

Father András Szili, parish priest of the Kövi Szűz Mária Church in Budapest, said that the parishioners of his parish had often asked him to place the relics of Father Popieluszko in the church, and a memorial to his life and homilies had already been set up at the parish.

Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko was born just seventy-five years ago, on September 14, 1947. As a priest, he was closely associated with the Solidarity movement from 1980, and after the declaration of martial law in 1981, he held so-called patriotic masses in the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Warsaw, attracting large crowds.

On October 19, 1984, the 37-year-old pastor was kidnapped and murdered by the communist secret service. He was beatified on June 6, 2010, and is currently undergoing a canonization trial.

His tomb in the garden of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church has become a pilgrimage site, visited by US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Czech President Vaclav Havel, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during their visits to Warsaw.

In 2018, Father Popieluszko’s memorial plaque was unveiled in the church, with inscriptions in Hungarian and Polish.

Featured photo: Facebook/Varsói Magyar Nagykövetség

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