June 12, Bls Ladislaus (Władysław) Goral, Casimir (Kazimierz) Gostyński and Companions

June 12
In the Archdiocese of Lublin
BLESSED LADISLAUS GORAL, BISHOP, CASIMIR GOSTYŃSKI, ANTHONY ZAWISTOWSKI, STANISLAUS MYSAKOWSKI, PRESBYTERS, and COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
Obligatory memorial

Ladislaus (Władysław) Goral (1898-1945), auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Lublin. He was arrested by the Gestapo as soon as November 1939 and sentenced to death. After the intervention of the Holy See, the sentence was mitigated to life. In the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen he was kept in a bunker. He died of exhaustion just before the liberation in April 1945.

Casimir (Kazimierz) Gostyński (1884-1942), exceptionally zealous pastor, teacher, carer of scouts. He got arrested for pastoral activities in January 1940 and taken off to the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen and then to Dachau. He would say, “Since Christ suffered, we too, imitating Him, should accept suffering.” Ruined by hunger, forced to superhuman labour and tortures, he was sent to the invalid block, from where he was taken to die in a gas chamber on 6 May 1942.

Anthony (Antoni) Zawistowski (1882-1941), professor of theology in the Lublin Seminary, ardent pastor, valued confessor and preacher. Having been arrested in November 1939, he was put in the concentration camp in Dachau. Although he himself suffered a lot, he attempted to bring help to his inmates. During his homilies in the camp he told the priests, “We are here because of our faith, the Church and homeland. For these we consciously lay down our lives.” He died in Dachau on 4 June 1942 of exhaustion and continual maltreatment of the guards.

Stanislaus (Stanisław) Mysakowski (1896-1942), catechist from Lublin, devoted to self-sacrificing works of mercy among the poor, old and handicapped. Arrested in November 1939, together with a group of Lublin priests, he was soon sentenced to death and carried off to Sachsenhausen and then Dachau. He was often tortured with extreme cruelty. On 14 October 1942 he was taken out of the camp in a so-called invalid transport to be gassed. He was said to be “one of the few in the camp who with their spiritual power would save the inmates from total humiliation and degradation of humanness.”

Common of Several Martyrs.

OFFICE OF READINGS

SECOND READING

From the bull “Incarnationis Mysterium” of indiction of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
(13)
Martyrdom as the proof of the truth of the faith

A sign of the truth of Christian love, ageless but especially powerful today, is the memory of the martyrs. Their witness must not be forgotten. They are the ones who have proclaimed the Gospel by giving their lives for love. The martyr, especially in our own days, is a sign of that greater love which sums up all other values. The martyr’s life reflects the extraordinary words uttered by Christ on the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). The believer who has seriously pondered his Christian vocation, including what Revelation has to say about the possibility of martyrdom, cannot exclude it from his own life’s horizon. The two thousand years since the birth of Christ are marked by the ever-present witness of the martyrs.

This century now drawing to a close has known very many martyrs, especially because of Nazism, Communism, and racial or tribal conflicts. People from every sector of society have suffered for their faith, paying with their blood for their fidelity to Christ and the Church, or courageously facing interminable years of imprisonment and privations of every kind because they refused to yield to an ideology which had become a pitiless dictatorial regime. From the psychological point of view, martyrdom is the most eloquent proof of the truth of the faith, for faith can give a human face even to the most violent of deaths and show its beauty even in the midst of the most atrocious persecutions.

Filled with grace during the coming Jubilee year, we shall be able with new strength to raise the hymn of thanksgiving to the Father, singing: Te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus. Yes, this is the host of those who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14). For this reason the Church in every corner of the earth must remain anchored in the testimony of the martyrs and jealously guard their memory. May the People of God, confirmed in faith by the example of these true champions of every age, language and nation, cross with full confidence the threshold of the Third Millennium. In the hearts of the faithful, may admiration for their martyrdom be matched by the desire to follow their example, with God’s grace, should circumstances require it.

RESPONSORY 

We are warriors now, fighting on the battlefield of faith, and God see all we do; the angels watch and so does Christ.
What honour and glory and joy, to do battle in the presence of God, and to have Christ approve our victory.

Let us arm ourselves in full strength and prepare ourselves for the ultimate struggle with blameless hearts, true faith and unyielding courage.
What honour and glory and joy, to do battle in the presence of God, and to have Christ approve our victory.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O almighty and eternal God,
you let the blessed martyrs Ladislaus, Casimir, Anthony and Stanislaus participate in the passion of Christ,
help our weakness with your grace so that we, imitating the martyrs who did not hesitate to die for you, may bravely confess you with our lives.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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