NICOSIA, Cyprus, JUNE 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is expressing joy over today’s beatification of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a martyr and national Polish hero.
The Pope made these comments today in an address before praying the midday Angelus with the faithful gathered at the Eleftheria Sports Centre in Nicosia.
“I would now like to say a few words in Polish on the happy occasion of the beatification today of Jerzy Popieluszko, priest and martyr,” the Pontiff said.
Continuing in Polish, he sent “cordial greetings to the Church in Poland which today rejoices at the elevation to the altars of Father Jerzy Popieluszko.”
“His zealous service and his martyrdom are a special sign of the victory of good over evil,” the Holy Father stated. “May his example and his intercession nourish the zeal of priests and enkindle the faithful with love.”
The 37-year-old priest was the chaplain of the Polish Solidarity movement, and was martyred in 1984 when Communist agents beat him and threw him into the icy waters of the Vistula River.
Some 400,000 people attended his funeral, and since that day, 17 million have visited his tomb. Every October 19, a 24-hour vigil is held to commemorate the day he was killed.
Father Jerzy Popieluszko beatification ceremony was held today in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square. It was presided over by the prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, Archbishop Angelo Amato, on behalf of Benedict XVI, with the concelebration of some 120 bishops and 1400 priests.
Some 150,000 other participated in the ceremony, including the martyr’s 90-year-old mother, and his brothers and sisters.
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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-29496?l=english