A courageous Polish family, consisting of a devoted couple and their seven children, is set to be beatified in a sacred ceremony in Markowa, Poland. The Vatican has announced that Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma, along with their beloved family, were tragically killed by the Nazis in March 1944 due to their selfless act of sheltering a Jewish family.
Although Pope Francis will not be attending the ceremony, it is undoubtedly a significant step towards recognizing the Ulma family as exceptional individuals close to sainthood. The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, the approving body for the beatification, is overseeing the event.
In a recent statement, the dicastery revealed the heartbreaking detail that Wiktoria Ulma was in the advanced stages of pregnancy when she lost her life. “At the time of the massacre, Signora Wiktoria Ulma was in an advanced state of pregnancy with her seventh child,” the dicastery expressed. “This son was born at the moment of his mother’s martyrdom, therefore, he is also counted among the martyred children. In fact, in the sacrifice of his parents, he received the baptism of blood.”
The Ulmas’ other children, ranging from the age of 18 months to 7 years old, were also victims of this tragic event, according to the Vatican. The beatification ceremony is accompanied by supporting documents that highlight the family’s heroic act of providing shelter to a Jewish family for a remarkable 18 months. Tragically, the Jewish family, too, met a heartbreaking fate at the hands of the Nazis.
What makes this beatification even more exceptional is that it marks the first time an entire family will be honored together, moving them closer to sainthood. Initially, it was mistakenly reported that the seventh child was unborn, indicating that the beatification would be the first time an unborn child had been recognized in such a manner. However, the Vatican clarified that, in reality, the child was born “at the moment” of his mother’s murder, making him one of the living children in the family.
The bodies of the Ulma family were exhumed as part of the beatification ceremony and will be reverently reburied following the commemorative event. Their sacrifice and dedication to protecting others will forever serve as an inspiration for future generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it mean for a family to be beatified?
Beatification is a sacred ceremony carried out by the Catholic Church to recognize individuals or, in this unique case, an entire family, for their spiritual journey and heroic acts. It is a step towards canonization, or sainthood.
- What is the significance of the Ulma family’s beatification?
The beatification of the Ulma family is significant because it honors their exceptional bravery and selflessness in protecting a Jewish family during the atrocities of World War II. It is a testament to their profound faith and unwavering commitment to justice and the well-being of others.
- Are there any other families that have been beatified?
The beatification of an entire family is incredibly rare. The Ulma family’s beatification marks the first time in history that an entire family has been recognized together for their virtuous actions in times of adversity.