100 years ago, Father Idzi Radziszewski, inspired by the idea of the university as a modern place of higher education which would conduct research in the spirit of harmony between science and faith, has founded Catholic University of Lublin.The university sought to produce a new Catholic intelligentsia which would play a leading role in society. 

However, the growth of KUL was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. On 23 November 1939, the Nazis executed a number of academic workers, among others, professors Michał Niechaj and Czesław Martyniak. The university was ordered to shut down and its buildings were converted into a military hospital. Nevertheless, the university carried on its teaching activities in secret. After the invasion of Lublin in July 1944 by the Red Army the university reopened on 21 August 1944.


Since then the university has functioned without interruption. The university stayed open during the years Poland was under Communist control between 1944 and 1989. It was the only independent, Catholic university in existence in the entire Soviet bloc. Given that the Communist governments all insisted on having a total monopoly of control over educational institutions, the preservation of its independence was a great achievement.


The university was often harassed in various ways by the Communist authorities, especially in the 1950s and the 1960s. The university faculty were under frequent surveillance by the secret police. Periodically some faculties were denied by the state the right to grant graduate degrees. The employment prospects of its graduates were limited. 


Despite the difficulties, the university's independence was maintained and it never adopted Marxist dogmas taught at all the other state universities. It served as a haven for students who were expelled from state universities for political reasons. After the fall of Communism in Poland in 1989 the university has flourished, quadrupling its student population and greatly expanding its campus.