Fr. Michał Rapacz, martyr of communism and priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow, will be beatified on 15 June 2024 in Krakow.

Pope Francis has set the date for the beatification of Fr. Michał Rapacz. This will be on 15 June this year, which is also the date of the conclusion of the Eucharistic Congress in the Archdiocese of Krakow.

„Venerable Servant of God Fr. Michał Rapacz was born in 1904 in Tenczyn. After his ordination to the priesthood, he was first a vicar in Płoki near Trzebinia, and then in Rajcza” – wrote Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Metropolitan of Krakow, in his letter for Lent.

„In 1937 he returned to Płoki, where he became parish administrator. The Second World War found him there, during which he supported the local population, including Polish partisans. When the communists took over the Polish government in 1945, Fr. Rapacz, due to his pastoral zeal, soon became the object of their harassment. Warned of the imminent danger and urged to leave Płoki, he said during one of his sermons: +Though I should fall dead, I will not cease to preach this Gospel and I will not renounce my own cross+. On the night of 11/12 May 1946, a communist militia raided the rectory. A death sentence was read out to Fr. Rapacz and then he was led outside. At the time, he repeated only one sentence: +Thy will be done, Lord+. Dragged on a rope around the church and severely beaten, he was then forcibly taken to a forest about 1 km away and shot there. He remained in the memory of his parishioners as a priest who went to the church every night to pray for a long time in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the salvation of the people entrusted to him” – the Metropolitan of Krakow pointed out.

After the funeral ceremony in Płoki, Fr. Rapacz’s body was laid to rest in a family grave in the parish cemetery in Lubień near Myślenice. On the 29th of October 1980 the mortal remains of Fr. Rapacz were exhumed, and on the 2nd of November they were transferred and placed in a prepared grave outside, at the back of the parish church in Płoki, where they rest to this day.

Archdiocese of Krakow / Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

Photo: Archdiocese of Krakow