June 12, Bls Francis (Franciszek) Dachtera, Anthony (Anotni) Świadek and Companions

June 12
In the Diocese of Bydgoszcz
Obligatory memorial

Francis (Franciszek) Dachtera (1910-1942) was born on 22 September in the village of Salno near Bydgoszcz. Having graduated from the Seminary in Gniezno, he was ordained in June 1933. During the Battle of the Bzura he was taken captive. For half a year he stayed in the POW camp Rothenburg. In April 1940, together with other chaplains, he was deported to the extermination camp in Buchenwald and in July 1942 to Dachau. In December 1942 he was selected for the so-called medical experiments, during which he was vaccinated against malaria several times. He died in torments on 22 August 1944.

Anthony (Antoni) Świadek (1909-1945) was born on 27 March in Pobiedziska (the Greater Poland region). Upon graduating from the Seminary in Poznań, he took holy orders in June 1933. After the outbreak of the II World War, he came forward to serve as a military chaplain to one of Polish units. For some time he worked in a hospital for Polish POWs. Having returned to Bydgoszcz, he went on serving as a pastor. In the summer of 1942, due to denunciation, he got arrested by the Gestapo and was sent to a prison in Bydgoszcz. Forced to overwork, he developed a hernia. In October 1942 he was taken to the concentration camp in Dachau. Shortly after arrival, he came down with typhoid, He managed to recover thanks to the packages from the outside. At the end of 1944, however, he fell ill again. He was placed in the sick room, where he died on 25 January 1945.

Common of Several Martyrs.



From the bull “Incarnationis Mysterium” of indiction of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
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.


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.


O almighty and eternal God,
you let the blessed martyrs Francis, Anthony, presbyters, 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.


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