The example of love of an ordinary family
FAFCE rejoices for the Beatification of the Ulma Family
Brussels, 8th of September 2023
„FAFCE is pleased to share with you the joyful news, that on Sunday, 10th of September, for the first time a family will be beatified as such, including its newborn child. This is a historic event“, stated the President of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), Vincenzo Bassi, on the eve of the beatification ceremony of the Ulma family.
The family of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children, who were killed by the Nazis for helping and hiding a Jewish family, will be beatified on 10th of September in Markowa, the village in southeast Poland, where the Ulma family was executed in 1944. Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, will preside over the beatification ceremony. Pope Francis recognized their martyrdom in a decree signed last December. The Polish Sejm has also established 2024 as the Year of the Ulma Family: the resolution indicated that next year marks the 80th anniversary of the murder of this entire family.
On the night of 23-24 March 1944, German policemen entered the Ulmas’ house in the village Markowa. They discovered eight Jewish people who had found refuge in the Ulma farm and executed them. The policemen first shot the Jewish families, then Józef and Wiktoria Ulma, who gave birth to her seventh child during the execution. Afterwards, the Ulmas’ six small children were also killed: Stanisława, aged 7, Barbara, 6, Władysław, 5, Franciszek, 4, Antoni, 2, and Maria, 1.
Father Witold Burda, the postulator for the Ulma family, has said to Catholic News Agency that a bible was found inside the Ulma house in which the parable of the Good Samaritan had been underlined. “They built their family on the foundation of faith with fidelity to the two essential commandments: the commandment to love God and the commandment to love one’s neighbour”, Fr Burda said.
Vincenzo Bassi stressed that: „Józef and Wiktoria Ulma were ordinary people who did not want to be heroes or martyrs: they naturally helped others, especially the persecuted Jews, that they were hiding, aware of the death penalty pending on those doing so. Their extraordinary dedication and service can be a shining example of selfless love and family virtues in today’s time.“