Martyr (1919-1942) [August 13]
As a teenage, Edward Kazmierski, of Poznan, Poland, was an active member of a special form of Sunday School instituted by Saint John Bosco, the Salesian Oratory. Edwad was remembered for his deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was fifteen when he walked over three hundred miles to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Czestokowa. A committed chorister in his parish church, he even penned a few musical compositions of his own. In 1939 the Nazis invaded Poland. As persecutors of Poland’s Catholics, they confiscated the Salesians’ Oratory in Poznan. Edward and four fellow members of the Oratory were compelled to meet elsewhere, sometimes in the woods, sometimes on a riverbank. In September of 1940, Edward was arrested by the Nazis at the mechanic’s shop where he had worked to support his poor parents. He and his four friends were tortured, sent to labor camps, and in August of 1942 condemned to death. Their rosary beads were confiscated and thrown into a trashcan, but they managed secretly to retrieve them. On August 24, 1942, Edward and his four friends were guillotined.
--- James Monti
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
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