On 13 – 14 September 2018 there was the 13th run pilgrimage commemorating the chaplain of Solidarity – beatified Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko and nine miners who were killed by militia bullets at the beginning of the martial law.

Runners began their run at the monument of Deceased Miners of the Stone Coal Mine ‘Wujek’ and ended the next day, on the anniversary of the birth of Fr. Jerzy, at his grave on the area of the parish of St. Stanisław Kostka in Warsaw.

The run was attended by, among the others, miners from the mines ‘Wujek’ and Knurów-Szczygłowice, marathon runners, protégés of Caritas from Knurów, representation of the branch of the National Remembrance Institute in Katowice and the youth from the Second High School named Cpt. Witold Pilecki in Mikołów, inspired by grandparents and parents who pass over remembrance about the events of the martial law to them.

The pilgrimage, also called the Run of Remembrance to the Honour of Martyrs of the Martial Law was attended by over 100 people. This year, for the first time, also cyclists joined the runners, who did a 200-km route from Warmia and Mazury.

It took us two days to do 320 km. Our message was – from martyrdom of nine miners from ‘Wujek’ to this particular martyrdom of the chaplain of Solidarity Movement – Marian Gruszka, an initiator of the run pilgrimage, told journalists.

During the welcoming ceremony for runners in Warsaw, a director of the Silesian Centre of Freedom and Solidarity Robert Ciupa emphasized that the pilgrimage had particular significance on the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland. He emphasized that it is necessary to remind others of such values as truth, dignity and solidarity about which beatified Fr. Popiełuszko had been claiming.

Thanks for the effort put into the event and commemorating the person of Fr. Popiełuszko was expressed also by the family of the beatified priest – by Barbara Popiełuszko-Matyszczyk and Marek Popiełuszko.

Polish Oil and Gas Industry also joined the organization of this year’s pilgrimage. – Beatified Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko is an unusual person in the history of our country. The chaplain of Solidarity Movement, an authority person, martyr for proclaiming the right to live in freedom, but mainly an extremely good man, who was never indifferent to human suffering. I am honoured that we could contribute to organizing the 13th pilgrimage to the honour of Fr. Jerzy and miners from the mine ‘Wujek’ who were killed for independent Poland – the chairperson of the Polish Oil and Gas Industry SA Piotr Woźniak said during the ceremony.

Every year the number of participants of the pilgrimage is growing and it is influenced not only by worship given to Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko as a martyr for faith, but also an attracting form of the very event. The sport character of the pilgrimage makes it easy for us to reach to the youth with the information about Fr. Jerzy. One of the participants of the run pilgrimage emphasized that this is just the form of run which makes students get engaged in it so willingly. – If at least one person whom we passed by, decided to check who Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko was, so our effort made sense – another runner added.

The pilgrimage, also called the Run of Remembrance to Honour of Martyrs of the Martial Law, has been organized for some years by the Silesian Centre of Freedom and Solidarity, NSZZ ‘Solidarity’, the Social Committee of Remembrance of Miners of the Stone Coal Mine ‘Wujek’ of the Deceased on 16 December 1981. The parish church of the Holy Cross Exaltation in Katowice and the Association ‘Moja Gmina Nasz Powiat’ in Knurów. The main sponsor of this year’s edition of the event was the Polish Oil and Gas Industry SA.

The Polish Oil and Gas Industry SA has been actively getting engaged in the events for years, whose aim is commemorating important historic events. In 2016 the Foundation of the Polish Oil and Gas Industry named Ignacy Łukasiewicz initiated ‘Gesture of Gratitude of the Polish Oil and Gas Industry’. One of the elements of this venture are supplements to gas bills for Warsaw insurgents and miners who took part in the strike in the mine ‘Wujek’ during the martial law.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 40/2018 (7 X 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl