Relics of Polish martyrs are a reminder of suffering Christians

Relics of Polish martyrs are a reminder of suffering Christians Fr Dariusz Kaczyński OFM Conv. holding the relics for veneration.

Welcoming the arrival of the relics of two Polish martyrs to Thurles, Co. Tipperary, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly has said there are many “courageous” priests who place their lives at risk for Christ and the relics are a reminder of Christians suffering for the Faith.

The relics of Conventional Franciscans, Zbigniew Strzałkowski OFM Conv. and Michal Tomaszek OFM Conv. arrived at the Church of St Joseph and St Brigid, Bohernanave, at 1pm on Sunday, April 21.

The martyred priests decided to continue to minister to their flock in Peru despite significant danger. They were abducted by terrorist group ‘Shining Path’ and killed in 1991 – they are the saints for all those who suffer because of terrorism. Their beatification took place in Chimbote, Peru, in December 2015.

In his welcome at the Mass, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA told the congregation: “The Church today has many brave and courageous priests, religious and lay people who are placing their lives at risk to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“The presence of the relics will enable us to bring to our hearts and minds the many Christians in our time who are suffering as they witness to their faith,” he said.

He welcomed the many members of the Polish community from Irish dioceses as well as the Conventional Franciscan brothers who travelled with the relic to deliver it to the archdiocese.

Archbishop O’Reilly said: “The links between the Irish Church and the Polish Church stretch back in time. Our celebration today is a sign of our common faith and bond with our Polish sisters and brothers. It is their hope and, indeed, mine, that these bonds will be strengthened by today’s occasion.”

Abbot of Glenstal Abbey Brendan Coffey, based in Murroe, Co. Limerick and Fr John Collins from the Diocese of Cork and Ross who worked in Peru and knew personally one of the martyrs, Fr Hajkouski, also attended.