The Vatican’s saint-making department announced on Tuesday that the Catholic Church is set to beatify a courageous Polish family of nine, including a newborn baby, who tragically lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis during World War Two.
The beatification ceremony to honor Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children is scheduled to take place this coming Sunday in the Polish town of Markowa, where the family valiantly sacrificed their lives in March 1944.
Their unfaltering commitment to humanity led to their ultimate sacrifice, as they were executed by German military police for harboring a Jewish family during a tumultuous time in history.
The remarkable Ulma family, who displayed immense compassion and heroism during the darkest days of World War Two, will be officially recognized and celebrated during the beatification ceremony. This important event, occurring just before the path to sainthood, will be a testament to their unwavering faith and selfless actions. It is noteworthy that this marks the first time in history that an entire family will be honored together in this distinctive manner by the Roman Catholic Church.
Nevertheless, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints has clarified certain aspects of the beatification process. Contrary to some recent media reports, the beatification will not include an unborn child. The dicastery emphasizes that while Wiktoria Ulma was heavily pregnant at the time of her tragic death, she did give birth to her youngest son just moments before her execution, effectively bestowing upon him what is symbolically referred to as a “blood baptism.”
The Vatican department further elaborates on this poignant detail on its website, recounting that the infant boy’s lifeless body was discovered when the Ulma family was exhumed in preparation for a more dignified burial. This heart-wrenching revelation serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by this brave family, who went to great lengths to protect the lives of others, even at the expense of their own safety.
The Ulma family’s extraordinary act of compassion and bravery was rooted in their decision to provide refuge to a Jewish family in dire need. For a year and a half, they sheltered and protected this vulnerable group, showing immense courage in the face of great danger. Tragically, their selflessness was discovered by Nazi guards, leading to their execution alongside the Jewish family they had taken in.
As the world prepares to witness the beatification of the Ulma family, it is essential to reflect on the profound impact of their actions during one of history’s darkest chapters. Their unwavering commitment to the values of compassion, love, and humanity serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity for selflessness even in the most challenging circumstances.
Although Pope Francis, who recently returned from a visit to Mongolia, will not be present at the beatification ceremony, his thoughts and prayers undoubtedly go out to the Ulma family and all those who will gather to honor their memory.
The beatification of Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children is a testament to their exemplary devotion to their faith and their profound sacrifice for the sake of others.