Documentary Released on Poland's Solidarity Movement Chaplain

Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko Was Admired by John Paul II

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A documentary on Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko became available on DVD and public television this month.

Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko was the chaplain of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the early 1980s. The Solidarity movement, supported by John Paul II, was instrumental in bringing about the fall of Communism in Poland.

Father Popieluszko was killed in 1984 by the Polish government.

Narrated by Martin Sheen, Messenger of the Truth chronicles Father Jerzy’s opposition to Poland’s oppressive Communist leaders, who harassed, arrested, threatened, imprisoned and, eventually, murdered him for speaking the truth in a country full of propaganda, oppression and social injustice.

“A must-see documentary for all who believe in the rights of religious liberty, the dignity of the human person, and those who are lovers of freedom and defenders of the truth,” says His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.

At Fr. Jerzy’s funeral, an estimated 1 million people surrounded his church in Warsaw and promised to continue his struggle for freedom through non-violence. 

In 1987, shortly before the fall of communism in Poland, Pope John Paul II prayed at his gravesite in a sign of his support for the young priest’s life and death. 

Fr. Jerzy was beatified on June 6, 2010, in Warsaw and is expected to be canonized in the near future.

Messenger of the Truth was awarded first place in the documentary category at the 28th International Catholic Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland, and will be awarded the Christopher Award for the category of TV documentary on May 15th from The Christophers at their 65th annual award gala in New York City.

The 90-minute documentary is airing across the U.S. on American Public Television stations; the first broadcast aired April 1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

ZENIT published a four-part interview with Fr. Jerzy's mother that can be read here.