By: Fr. Pawel Rytel-Andrianik and Maneula Tulli
The extraordinary story of the Ulma family is one of faith, courage, and heroic love of neighbor. Józef and Wiktoria Ulma risked their lives to protect three Jewish families during the Holocaust. On the night of March 24, 1944, German Nazis raided their farmhouse and cruelly shot all of the Jews the Ulmas were hiding and every member of the Ulma family. In just minutes, seventeen people, including the Ulma’s six young children and the child in Wiktoria’s womb, were brutally executed.
In an unprecedented event, the entire Ulma family was beatified on September 10, 2023, in Markowa, Poland, where the family lived and was martyred. This is the first time the Catholic Church has beatified an entire family together.
Martyred and Blessed Together provides a detailed account of the virtuous lives and martyrdom of the Ulma family, while placing their lives and actions within the horrors of World War II and the historical relations between Poles and Jews.
While tragic, the story of the Ulma family demonstrates great sacrificial love. The Ulmas found strength in the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke, and moved with compassion for their Jewish neighbors, went beyond even the Good Samaritan’s example by sacrificing their lives for the sake of total fidelity to Jesus Christ.
Blessed Józef, Wiktoria, Stasia, Basia, Wládziu, Franio, Antoś, Marysia, and unnamed baby Ulma, pray for us!