On this day in 1944 the Ulma family was martyred by the Nazis

 

Members of the Ulma family at their home and farm. On March 24, 1944, all nine members of the Ulma family were killed by the Nazis for hiding a Jewish family in their home in Poland, including a child still in the womb. / Credit: Father Witold Burda, postulator for the Ulma family. See CNA article for full slideshow. 

Rome Newsroom, Mar 24, 2023 / 09:00 am (CNA).

The anniversary of the martyrdom of the first unborn child on the way to sainthood marks a moment to pray for the protection of every human life, according to the postulator for the Ulma family.

On March 24, 1944, all nine members of the Ulma family were killed by the Nazis — including a child still in the womb — for hiding a Jewish family in their home in Poland.

Members of the Ulma family at their home and farm. On March 24, 1944, all nine members of the Ulma family were killed by the Nazis for hiding a Jewish family in their home in Poland, including a child still in the womb. Credit: Father Witold Burda, postulator for the Ulma family
Members of the Ulma family at their home and farm. On March 24, 1944, all nine members of the Ulma family were killed by the Nazis for hiding a Jewish family in their home in Poland, including a child still in the womb. Credit: Father Witold Burda, postulator for the Ulma family

Father Witold Burda, the postulator for the Ulma family, has said that the Catholic Church’s decision to beatify an unborn child “shakes our consciences.”

In an interview with EWTN, Burda called it “a reminder for us of the sanctity of every human life that begins at the moment of conception until natural death.”

“It is a great reaffirmation, a great hymn of the sanctity and dignity of every human life.”

Bishop Ignacy Dec, the retired bishop of Świdnica, Poland, also pointed to the March 24 anniversary of the Ulma family’s martyrdom as a moment to pray for the protection of life.

“On the 79th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Ulma family, I cordially greet all the defenders of life and encourage them to pray for the conversion of those who promote the civilization of death,” Dec wrote on social media.

A national day of remembrance

A Nazi patrol surrounded the home of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma on the outskirts of the village of Markowa in southeast Poland early on March 24, 1944. They discovered and executed eight Jewish people who had found refuge on the Ulma farm since 1942.

The Nazi police then killed Wiktoria, who was seven months pregnant, and Józef. As children began to scream at the sight of their murdered parents, the Nazis shot them, too: Stanisława, age 8; Barbara, 7; Władysław, 6; Franciszek, 4; Antoni, 3; and Maria, 2.

Wiktoria Ulma with one of her children. Credit: Father Witold Burda, postulator for the Ulma family
Wiktoria Ulma with one of her children. Credit: Father Witold Burda, postulator for the Ulma family

The anniversary of the Ulma family’s deaths has been recognized since 2018 in Poland as the National Day of Remembrance of Poles Who Saved Jews under German Occupation.

Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of the Ulmas and all of their children in a decree signed in December 2022. The entire Ulma family will be beatified on Sept. 10 in a ceremony in Markowa, the village in southeast Poland where the Ulmas were executed.

The Polish bishops’ conference recently announced that the relics of the Ulma family will travel from diocese to diocese in Poland following their beatification.

“With this concept of proclaiming the entire family ‘blessed,’ the parents with seven children — among which also one in the maternal womb — the Church wishes to most of all confirm, it wishes to emphasize the beauty and importance of matrimony and family life,” Burda said.


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  1. On this day in 1944 the Ulma family was martyred by the Nazis – Via Nova
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  3. On this day in 1944 the Ulma family was martyred by the Nazis – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman

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