Cardinal Swiatek

Fortunes Reversed

Cardinal Kazmierz Swiatek. was born in 1914 in Walge, Estonia in the former Soviet Union. Almost immediately after his ordination in 1939 for the Diocese of Pinsk in Belarus he was arrested by the KGB and put on death row but escaped from prison before his scheduled execution when Germany invaded the USSR in 1941. Three years later when Germany retreated he was again arrested by the KGB in 1944 and condemned to 10 years in the mines and hard labor camps in Siberia. Each inmate received ¾ lb of bread every morning and then walked 5-6 miles in the snow to the worksite and in the evening received soup, rotten cabbage and potatoes. Every day since he kisses bread every time before he eats it. In 1991 he became the first Catholic bishop of Belarus for fifty years when he was consecrated Archbishop of the Diocese of Minsk-Mohilev. On November 26th  1994, at more than 80 years of age, he was elevated to cardinal by the Pope John Paul II.

Happy you who are hungry now, you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now, you shall laugh.
Luke 6:21