Wiktoria and Józef Ulma and their six children were murdered for hiding Jews during World War II. A museum honouring their memory has become an important destination for Catholic—and Jewish—pilgrims.
Pope Francis has frequently spoken of an “ecumenism of the blood.” Today, Christians are being persecuted and exterminated solely for professing belief in Christ in the Middle East and many parts of Africa and Asia, just as the faithful were in Nero’s Rome or during the Spanish Civil War. Today’s martyrs come from all Christian traditions: they are Roman and Eastern Rite Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox. This shared experience of suffering offers the opportunity for bringing Christians closer together. Similarly, the memory of the martyrdom of the Ulma family in Markowa, Poland is contributing to Christian-Jewish dialogue. Markowa is now a pilgrimage site where thousands of Christians and Jews from around the world come to pay their respects to the Ulmas, who, despite enormous risks, became their Jewish brothers’ keepers and paid the ultimate price.
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