Jerzy Popiełuszko was born on September 14, 1947. Polish Roman Catholic priest, chaplain of the Warsaw "Solidarity" movement. He also was a defender of human rights in the People's Republic of Poland. He based his work on the maxim: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). He became a symbol of the fight against the criminal system forever.

 

He was murdered by the agents of Służba Bezpieczeństwa (Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) on October 19, 1984. After the kidnapping, the priest was beaten to death, tied up and put in the trunk of the car by three Security Police officers. The officers bound a stone to his feet and dropped him into the Vistula Water Reservoir near Włocławek from where his body was recovered on October 30, 1984.

 

News of the political murder caused an uproar throughout Poland, and the murderers and one of their superiors, Colonel Adam Pietruszka, were convicted of the crime. Popiełuszko's murderers – Captain Grzegorz Piotrowski, Leszek Pękala, Waldemar Chmielewski and Colonel Adam Pietruszka, responsible for giving the order to kill – were sentenced to jail.

 

Popiełuszko was posthumously awarded the Order of the White Eagle (Poland's highest decoration) in 2009. He has been recognized as a martyr by the Catholic Church and was beatified on June 6, 2010, by Archbishop Angelo Amato on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.