Priest and Martyr (1885-1940)
+ Michał was born in Łomża, Poland. Ordained a priest in 1911, he served as a parish priest before earning a doctorate in philosophy in France.
+ During his time in France, he served as a chaplain to a colony of Polish miners working in the country.
+ From 1919 to 1935 Michał served as a professor in the seminary of the diocese of Łomza. In 1939, Michał was named director of a secondary school in Sehnach.
+ He was arrested on April 7, 1940, and moved to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp shortly after. During his imprisonment, he was remembered for having often given his small food ration to the elderly Jewish inmates interred within him.
+ Blessed Michał Piaszczynski died from exhaustion and illness on December 18, 1940, and was beatified with other Polish martyrs of World War II in 1999.
For prayer and reflection
O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.
O God, eternal majesty, whose ineffable Word
the immaculate Virgin received through the message of an Angel
and so became the dwelling-place of divinity,
filled with the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant, we pray, that by her example
we may in humility hold fast to your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for December 20)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.