In the witness and martyrdom of the Ulmas and their children, we rediscover the greatness of the family, which is the place of life, love, and fertility,” said Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, in his homily at the Mass with the rite of beatification of the Ulma Family, held in Markowa in the Podkarpacie region on September 10.
At the start of the Eucharist, Archbishop Adam Szal, Metropolitan of Przemyśl, welcomed the faithful. „Sanctity in everyday life, the quiet and humble, gives hope to our world that good will ultimately prevail. May today’s ceremony, lived in an atmosphere of faith, ignite love for God and people,” he stressed.
The beatification formula, under the mandate of Pope Francis, was read by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints: „…by our Apostolic authority we permit that henceforth the Venerable Servants of God, Joseph and Victoria Ulma, married with their seven children, faithful laymen, martyrs… be bestowed with the title of Blessed.”
The unveiling of the image of the new Blesseds followed the reading of the beatification formula. Then, a procession with the relics proceeded to the chancel.
Cardinal Marcello Semeraro delivered the homily, stating that the special meaning of today’s beatification lies in the fact that „a whole family is raised to the glory of the altars, united not only by ties of blood but also by a common witness given up to the sacrifice of their own lives.”
He assessed that „in the witness and martyrdom of the Ulmas and their children, we rediscover the greatness of the family, which is the place of life, love, and fertility. We rediscover the greatness of the mission that the Creator has entrusted to spouses.”
Cardinal Semeraro underlined that this beatification has a more timely message than ever. „In the martyrdom of the new Blessed, a particularly evocative role is played by the tiny child Victoria carried in her womb, coming into the world during the painful moments of her mother’s slaughter. Although it did not yet have a name, today we call it Blessed,” he noted.
„This innocent voice of this child wants to shake the conscience of a society where abortion, euthanasia, and contempt for life, seen as a burden rather than a gift, are rampant. It is why the Ulma family encourages us to respond to this ‚culture of rejection’ that Pope Francis condemns,” said the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.
Cardinal Semeraro pointed out that „with the concreteness of their gesture, the Ulma family, as well as other people of goodwill who helped the Jews, anticipated the teachings of Vatican II, St. Paul VI, as well as St. John Paul II, adopting in their lives the attitude of someone who tears down walls and embraces with brotherly love.”
The Prefect of the Dicastery noted in his homily that the new Blesseds „are offered to us as intercessors with the Lord God so that we can entrust our daily life, our hopes, joys, needs, and worries to them.”
About 32,000 faithful attended the beatification ceremony. The Eucharist, with the rite of beatification, was celebrated by 1,200 priests, six cardinals, and 80 bishops.
The liturgical commemoration of the Ulma Family will fall on July 7, the anniversary of Joseph and Wiktoria’s marriage sacrament.
Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference
Translated by Sr. Amata Nowaszewska / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference