Marek Kuchciński unveiled the Avenue of the Oaks of Memory of the Katyn Chaplains in Kalwaria Pacławska

On May 12 at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary of Kalwaria Pacławska near Przemysl the Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński took part in the Holy Mass and then in the ceremony of consecration and unveiling of the Memory Oak Avenue of the Polish Army Chaplains murdered in 1940 by NKWD.

- We are taking part in an unusual, very symbolic ceremony. Just as we are standing in a symbolic place - because on the Way of the Cross and in a holy place. On the hill there is the Franciscan monastery with the picture of Our Lady of Paclawska. These signs and symbols strongly indicate the impermanence of many meanings and our heritage. Priests who were soldiers in the Polish army to the end, who brought comfort to their soldiers and together with them were executed by martyrdom, passed away during the ceremony of opening and consecration of the Avenue of Oaks - said the Speaker of the Sejm during the ceremony of unveiling and consecration of the Avenue.

The liturgy, presided over by His Excellency Bishop Adam Szal - shepherd of the Przemyśl diocese - was celebrated in the intention of the murdered Katyn chaplains and officers and employees of the Bieszczady Border Guard Unit.

Thirty-three oaks will be planted in the avenue, for each of the 33 chaplains murdered. Each tree will have a commemorative plaque. Among the victims of repression there were representatives of various religions. The most numerous group were Roman Catholic priests and seminarians. However, the persecutions affected also Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Protestant clergy. Among the murdered was also the chief rabbi of the Polish Army, Lieutenant Colonel Baruch Steinberg.

This initiative was undertaken jointly by the Monastery of the Invention of the Holy Cross of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (Franciscans) in Kalwaria Paclawska and the Association "Memory of Katyn Chaplains". The ceremony was under the national patronage of the President of Poland Andrzej Duda.

Calvary of Paclawska is one of the most famous places of worship in Poland, also called the Jerusalem of the East. It was founded in the 17th century by Andrzej Maksymilian Fredro, a governor of Podolia and a castellan of Krakow. It is here that the miraculous painting of the Mother of God from Kamieniec Podolski, before which prayed among others: John Casimir and John III Sobieski, and many years later also John Paul II. That is why this place is often called Jasna Góra of Subcarpathia.


Photo by Marta Olejnik



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