Pope agrees to beatification of whole family 

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

POPE FRANCIS has approved the first ever beatification of an entire family, including an unborn child, eight decades after they were shot by the Gestapo in punishment for sheltering Jews in their Polish home.

Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children will be beatifiefd in their home town, Markowa, by the Prefect of the Dicastery for Saints’ Causes, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, on 10 September.

“It will be an event without precedent — and I’m glad there has been so much media interest,” the Archbishop of Przemysl, Mgr Adam Szal, said: “This family can set an example and inspire our attitudes towards people needing help, towards everyday duties and towards our own children. They took in Jews, whereas we’ve taken in refugees — everything moves in the same direction.”

He told the Polish Catholic Information Agency that the beatification would affect “many Christian lives”, and that work would be done in the mean time to make the family, known as the “Good Samaritans of Markowa”, better known, as well as to highlight the “heroic attitude” of other church members who risked death by sheltering Jews during the Nazi occupation.

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma, who ran a fruit orchard, were shot, together with their children, aged eight and below, on 24 March 1944, for allowing eight members of the Jewish Szall and Goldman families to hide in their home after escaping a German round-up.


Pope agrees to beatification of whole family 

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