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Monument of Fr. Emilian Kowcz - Blessed Priest from Majdanek in Lublin

Monument of Fr. Emilian Kowcz - Blessed Priest from Majdanek in Lublin

On Thursday (March, 25) during the Lublin City Council meeting, a symbolic presentation and transfer of monument of Fr. Emilian Kowcz - Blessed Priest from Majdanek, was held.

Subsequently, the monument was placed on the Square at the intersection of Droga Męczenników Majdanka and Cmentarna Street. Hence, the City of Lublin commemorated the figure of the Greek Catholic priest – Blessed Emilian Kowcz, who had died in Majdanek concentration camp.

The date of the statue transportation to Lublin is not random. March, 25 marks the 77th anniversary of the death of priest called "the blessed priest of Majdanek". Blessed Emilian Kowcz will be remembered throughout of the 20th century history of both Poland and Lublin region, as a Greek Catholic priest with his utter determination and devotion. He attempted to reconcile people of various faiths and nationalities, defending Poles and Ukrainians and purposefully and resolutely saving lives of Jews. In the German concentration camp in Lublin, called Majdanek he pursued his pastoral work and died there. The monument and the publication "Blessed Emilian Kowcz – the Parson of Majdanek” honor the person who, even in the face of the tragic camp conditions, retained dignity and gave a beautiful testimony of faith, not only in God, but also in man - says Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of Lublin.

Granite sculpture commemorating Rev. Emilian Kowcz was established on the initiative of Foundation of Spiritual Culture of Borderland (Fundacja Kultury Duchowej Pogranicza). The sculpture was made in Ukraine by Ukrainian artists - Alexander Diachenko and Martha Diachenko. A piece of one of his letters was engraved in Polish, Ukrainian and Hebrew on three sides of the monument. In letters he sent to his family, he asked them not to make attempts to release him, because he wished to remain in the camp and fulfil his priestly duties. The statue was inaugurated in 2019 in the presence of many people including the former President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.

Moreover, it was also an opportunity to present the publication "Blessed Emilian Kowcz – the Parson of Majdanek”. It took place on Thursday (March, 25) virtually on the Facebook and YouTube channel. The event was fully organised by the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre together with the City of Lublin, Foundation of Spiritual Culture of Borderland in Lublin and the Publishing House of the Archdiocese of Lublin Gaudium.

Fr. Emilian Kowcz (1884-1944) - the Parson of Przemyślany parish near Lviv. During the German occupation, priest Emilian Kowcz helped Poles, Ukrainians and Jews. In 1942, he was sent to the concentration camp at Majdanek for his pastoral activity. Even as a prisoner, he continued his missionary work and served among fellow inmates of various faiths and nationalities. With his attitude and life example, he gave outstanding testimony to courage, faith and trust in God. Priest Emilian Kowcz died in camp hospital on 25 March 1944. His beatification took place on June 27, 2001 in Lviv, during the liturgy conducted by Pope John Paul II.

In 2003, roundabout at the intersection of Al. Armii Krajowej with Jana Pawła II in Lublin, was given his name.


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