This is a great story from the Catholic Herald about a priest who was marked for death by both the Communists and the Nazis and then served ten years in the Gulag where he said Mass for fellow prisoners in secret, under penalty of death.
In a stately marble corridor of the Polish bishops’ conference HQ a diminutive old man stands awkwardly among colleagues in the regalia of episcopal office. Outside, a line of dark Mercedes wait to transport their passengers back to spacious residences, while in the vestibule teams of assistants stand in readiness.
Cardinal Kazimierz Świątek, who died in July, was an unlikely ecclesiastical elder statesman, surviving imprisonment and exile before being called to lead his country’s Catholics through the difficult years of independence. But his contribution was acknowledged, as a beacon of the Soviet-era “Church of Silence” and guide on the path to forgiveness and reconciliation.