The family of Józef and Wiktoria showed the power of love, much greater than the power of death – said Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, during the Holy Mass celebrated in the Church of St Dorothy in Markowa, on the 80th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Blessed Ulma Family.

In his homily, Cardinal Semeraro expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to come once again to Markowa, where he presided over the Beatification Mass for Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children in September 2023. „Today’s celebration is like a continuation of that feast and joy” – he said. „Just today, as we enter the atmosphere of Holy Week in the Church’s liturgy through Palm Sunday, we are experiencing the 80th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Blessed Samaritans of Markowa. At the same time, it is a day of special remembrance for all those Poles who saved their Jewish brothers, acquaintances and neighbours, in the dark times of the Second World War” – added the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.

Cardinal Semeraro drew attention to the testimony of the life of the Ulma Family. „We find in them the traits of Christ’s Way of the Cross” – he said. „The family of Józef and Victoria showed the power of love, far greater than the power of death. They show us that love, lived to the measure of Christ crucified, the true Samaritan of humanity, is a revolution greater than any ideology” – he said. Cardinal Semeraro also stressed that „only love can effectively overcome all manifestations of injustice and violence, persecution, division and war”.

Referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints stressed that today „we need prophets like the members of the Ulma Family and many others like them, who with their gestures of selfless mercy convince the world of today more and more”.

Cardinal Semeraro asked in his homily to entrust to the intercession of the Blessed Ulma Family, „our families so that they may be a school of faith and a place to practice and grow in true love”.

At the end of the Mass on the 80th anniversary of the death of the Ulma Family from Markowa, Archbishop Adam Szal, Metropolitan of Przemyśl, asked to take up and carry out the legacy left by the Ulma Family. „It is necessary not only to remember what was, but also to think about what can be done to make our families strong in faith, hope and love following their example” – Archbishop Szal said.

Prior to the Mass in Markowa, a ceremony was held to name the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport after the Ulma family, attended by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro and the President of Poland Andrzej Duda. On 24 March, Poland celebrates the National Day of Remembrance of Poles who rescued Jews under German occupation.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference