June 12, Bls Marian Górecki, Bronislao (Bronisław) Komorowski, Francis (Franciszek) Rogaczewski and Companions

June 12
In the Archdiocese of Gdańsk
BLESSED MARIAN GÓRECKI, BRONISLAO KOMOROWSKI, FRANCIS ROGACZEWSKI, PRESBYTERS, and COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
Obligatory memorial

Marian Górecki (1903-1940), pastor of the Poles of the Free City of Danzig, especially devoted to the young. He was arrested on 1 September 1939 and then deported to the concentration camp in Stutthof. After seven months of humiliation and tortures, on Good Friday, 22 March 1940, he was executed by firing squad together with Fr Bronislao Komorowski. Before dying, he uttered words of forgiveness to the persecutors.

Bronislao (Bronisław) Komorowski (1889-1940), parish priest in Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz, exceptionally devoted pastor. He was arrested on 1 September 1939, along with Fr Marian Górecki, with whom he shared the path of suffering in Stutthof, leading to the execution on 22 March 1940. He was ready for his own death, secretly participating in the Mass of Great Thursday, celebrated with his inmates.

Francis (Franciszek) Rogaczewski (1892-1940), parish priest of Christ the King Church in Gdańsk, extraordinary confessor. Arrested on 1 September 1939, he was tortured until his death by firing squad on 11 January 1940 near Gdańsk. Shortly before execution he told his vicar, who was imprisoned with him, “You know, I have a feeling that I shall die. Tell my beloved parishioners of Christ the King Church that I will gladly give up my life for Christ and homeland.”

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 

When we fight in protection of the faith, God looks at us, His angels look at us, Christ looks at us,
 It’s a great glory and dignity, and great joy to fight in God’s presence and receive a crown from Christ the Judge.

Let us summon all of our powers and arm ourselves in the chastity of the heart, immaculate faith and virtuous life, and start to fight.
It’s a great glory and dignity, and great joy to fight in God’s presence and receive a crown from Christ the Judge.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O almighty and eternal God,
you let the blessed martyrs Marian, Bronislao and Francis, and their Companions 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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