Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko: Hero For Religious Freedom

"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing...."
This good man would not remain silent or be intimidated into inaction. 
One good man was able to witness to the love of Christ and undo the machinations of evil.

 Twenty-six years ago, on October 19, 1984, this frail, young priest was savagely beaten and drowned by government security agents in the woods of rural Poland. The brutal death of this holy priest, carried out in the dark of night, captured the attention of the world, and his martyrdom is increasingly seen as a sacrifice leading not only to the resurrection of his own country as a free and independent nation of Christian people, but a bloody sacrifice redeeming all enslaved European peoples from the Baltic to the Urals.
To read the whole, beautiful story click here...
The Servant of God, John Paul II, on learning of his death said: “May good arise from this death like the Resurrection from the Cross”.

These are the words of Blessed Jerzy:

To serve God is to seek a way to human hearts, to serve God is
to speak out about evil as a sickness which should be brought to
light so it can be cured. To serve God is to condemn evil in all its
Government means service. The first love of the authorities
should be for those whom they govern. And if this really were
the case, if this basic Christian truth became a part of real life , if
the authorities were moral, if Christian ethics dominated the
principles of government, how different our lives would be...
The whole activity of Jesus Christ was aimed at making people
realize that they were created for the freedom of the children of
God. God created man in His image, so he is free; indeed, man
can accept or reject his Creator...
A Christian fulfills his duties only when he is stalwart, when he
professes his principles courageously, when he is neither
ashamed of them nor renounces them because of fear or
material needs. Woe betide a society whose citizens do not live
by fortitude. It is fortitude which creates citizens, for only a
courageous man is conscious of all his rights and duties. If a
citizen lacks fortitude, he becomes a slave and causes immeasurable
harm not only to himself but to his family, his country
and the Church...
That is why fortitude is, for a Christian,
the most important duty after love.
In order to remain spiritually free men, we must live in truth.
To live in truth means to bear witness to it to the outside world
at all times and in all situations. The truth is unchangeable. It
cannot be destroyed by any decree or law...
Courageous witnessing to the truth
leads directly to freedom. A man who witnesses to the truth can
be free even though he might be in prison...
We can overcome fear only if we accept suffering
in the name of a greater value. If the truth becomes for us
a value, worthy of suffering and risk, then we shall overcome
fear - the direct reason for our enslavement.-

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