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    Historic Beatification of Father Michał Rapacz: The First Clerical Martyr of the Polish Communist Era

    Yesterday, in the Krakow suburb of Łagiewniki, the beatification of Father Michał Rapacz, martyred by communists in 1946, took place. This significant event marks him as the first clerical martyr of the Polish communist era. Father Andrzej Scąber of the Krakow Archdiocese highlighted Rapacz’s precedence, noting that while Father Jerzy Popiełuszko is the most well-known martyr, Rapacz was the first chronologically to be killed by the communists.

    Father Michał Rapacz: A Life of Devotion and Martyrdom

    Born in 1904 in Tenczyn, Małopolska, Michał Rapacz served as a vicar in Płoki. Despite threats and the Soviet Army’s occupation of the region, Rapacz chose to stay with his parish. On the night of May 11-12, 1946, communist militants captured and executed him. His beatification process, initiated by the Krakow Archdiocese in 1992, culminates today.

    Beatification Mass Honors Father Michał Rapacz: A Solemn Ceremony of Faith and Remembrance

    The beatification Mass at the Basilica of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki was led by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, who read the apostolic letter from Pope Francis declaring Father Rapacz blessed. The ceremony included unveiling a portrait by Honorata Wojczyńska and bringing a reliquary containing Rapacz’s remains into the church. This reliquary, crafted in Rome, symbolizes his martyrdom and the forest where he was killed.

    Following the ceremony, both the reliquary and the portrait were transferred to the Parish of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Płoki. Approximately 2,000 ticketed attendees and additional clergy and officials participated in the ceremony, while other faithful could view it on large screens outside the basilica. A special beatification hymn, performed by the choir of the Pontifical University of John Paul II, accompanied the event.

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