News / News

Pope to readers of the Catholic University of Lublin`s book on the Ulmas: Values must not be betrayed

"May the sacrifice made by the family of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their children, who did not hesitate to give their lives to help eight people of Jewish origin, be for us and future generations a symbol of faithfulness to values that must never be betrayed even under threat of death," Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra from the Vatican wrote in the name of the Pope in a letter to the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Fr. Prof. Miroslaw Kalinowski. The university is the publisher of the book They Killed Even the Children—The Ulmas, the Martyred Family who Helped the Jews.

"The authors, the publishers, the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin - the initiators and those working on the publication of this book - and all the Readers - the Holy Father commends to God in prayer and blesses them from his heart," says the letter from Archbishop Peña Parra, Substitute of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.


"The Holy Father hopes that recalling the events of World War II, which led to the extermination of millions of people, including scores of innocent children, and the Holocaust experienced by the Jews, will stimulate the hearts of all to reflect on the current situation," the Vatican letter highlighted.


The authors of the publication are Manuela Tulli, an Italian journalist for the ANSA news agency, and Fr. Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, head of the Polish section of Vatican Radio and Vatican News and deputy director of the Heschel Center at the university. The publication tells about the martyrdom of the soon-to-be beatified family but also presents the stories, daily life, and occupations of the Jews in hiding who perished with the Ulmas: Shaul Goldman and his four sons, Lea Didner and her daughter Reszla, and Gołda Grünfeld. The book uses photographs taken by Jozef Ulma.

It is the first publication about the Ulma family released in three different languages.


The book opens with an interview with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, who will perform the beatification on Sunday on behalf of the Pope. Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the President of the Polish Bishops' Conference, authored the introduction.


So far, the book has been published in English, titled Martyred and Blessed Together – The Extraordinary Story of the Ulma Family, by the American publishing house Our Sunday Visitor, and in Italian, titled Uccisero Anche i Bambini. Gli Ulma, la famiglia martire che aiuto gli ebrei, whose publisher is the Ares publishing house. A Polish edition is in preparation and will be available free online.


The beatification of the nine-member family of Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma, murdered in March 1944 for helping Jews, will take place in Markowa, Podkarpacie Region, on Sunday, September 10. Along with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the Mass will be celebrated by nearly 1,000 priests and 80 cardinals and bishops from Poland and abroad. More than 32,000 faithful have registered to participate in the ceremony. Also present will be, among others, the Chief Rabbi of Poland.


The family to be beatified on Sunday consisted of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their children Stanisława, Barbara, Władysław, Franciszek, Antoni, Maria, and an unnamed child.