One man. The truth. The world changed forever.
This is the remarkable true story of Blessed Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, a 37-year-old Polish priest who was murdered by the communists for speaking the truth in a country full of lies.
When the Solidarity trade union was formed in 1980, Father Jerzy stood with the workers, becoming their chaplain. When Solidarity was outlawed and his friends were jailed, Father Jerzy picked up their banner and carried on, continuing to speak about freedom and human rights from his Warsaw pulpit.
He was a beacon of hope in the darkest days of Martial Law and his message of truth was devoured by the Polish people after 40 years of oppression. Thousands, then tens of thousands came from all over Poland to hear him speak and every month the crowd grew, bringing the Secret Police closer and closer to his door.
He was harassed, arrested, threatened, and imprisoned, but he would not be silenced. His friends suggested that he leave Poland for his own safety but he replied “my place is with the people.” On October 19, 1984, three secret policemen kidnapped Father Jerzy on the way to Warsaw. He was viciously beaten, bound, and thrown into the Vistula River.
At his funeral, an estimated one million people surrounded his church in Warsaw and as one, they promised to continue his struggle for freedom through non-violence. Lech Wałęsa said, “Rest in peace, Father Jerzy. Solidarity is alive because you gave your life for it.”
On that day, November 3rd, 1984 – the end of communism in Poland and Eastern Europe became only a question of time.