BLESSED JOSEPH STANEK, PRIEST, RELIGIOUS, AND MARTYR (1916-1944)
A native of Poland, Joseph Stanek entered the Pallottine congregation in 1935 at the age of eighteen. In the autumn of 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, subjecting this largely Catholic country to the aggression of a regime that in pursuance of its evil agenda sought to destroy the Catholic Church.
It was during the Nazi occupation that Joseph was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty-four, courageously risking his life to receive the sacrament of holy orders at a time when priests were in grave danger from the Nazis.
Less than three and a half years later, Father Stanek was arrested by the Nazis, who hung him in Warsaw, Poland on September 23, 1944, at the age of twenty-seven.
In 1992, the cause for beatifying Father Stanek and one hundred and seven other martyrs of Poland who had suffered for their faith during World War II was introduced in response to their popular reputation for holiness and the many favours attributed to their intercession. They were beatified in June of 1999.
“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” (1 Co 15:55)