Saint Joseph and Polish priests


Polish national centre of St. Joseph devotion is Kalisz town, because there is a miraculous image of the holy Patriarch, worshiped for over 350 years. In 1770, the painting was considered miraculous, and in 1783 Pope Pius VI ordered it to be crowned with golden crowns. It is therefore one of the oldest crowned images of Saint Joseph in the world.

During the Second World War, 1,775 Polish Catholic priests were held in the Dachau concentration camp. Only about 900 of them survived! Towards the end of the war, there was growing concern that all prisoners might be murdered during the liquidation of the camp. On April 22, 1945, a group of priests from the diocese of Włocławek began a novena to Saint Joseph for rescue.  All priests and many lay people entrusted themselves to the holy Patriarch, promising in the event of saving, among others, spreading the cult of St. Joseph and pilgrimages to his sanctuary in Kalisz.

On Sunday, April 29, at 5:00 pm, the camp was liberated by the Americans, who prayed “Our Father” together with the survivors. It turned out that the liberation happened at the last minute. A plan to set a fire on purpose at 9 p.m. that day was found among the camp documents. The fire was to be a signal for the nearby Waffen SS “Wiking” division to start razing the camp to the ground and murdering all prisoners.

Saint Joseph saved nine hundred priests in this way. I encourage the faithful to earnestly and trustingly pray to St. Joseph for the Church, families and priests!

28.IV.A.D.2021, in the Octave of St. Joseph, the Patron of the Church

Fr. Rafał Trytek ICR