Lived: 1891-1944
Feast Day: N/A
Pope Blessed Under: John Paul II

"You have conquered with God’s victory....We do not pray for you: because the enemy has snapped the thread of an innocent’s life; since, when the earth bled, the Lord looked for the victim who had overcome hatred by love." --Inscription on a memorial to Alphonsus Mazurek

    An outstanding organizer and educator,  Mazurek was also destined to become a martyr. He was born in Poland on March 1st, 1891. He studied hard in seminary school throughout his youth, and then joined the Carmelite order in 1912. He continued his studies, growing spiritually and mentally. His organizational ability was renowned, and he was set in charge of the Minor Seminary. In 1930 he was elected Prior for the Czerna Monastery. Here he took on the responsibility of the choir program, which flourished under his guidance.

    On the 24th of August, 1944, however, this all changed. Nazis took over the monastery, killing resistants and forcing the rest to dig ditches. Mazurek was seperated from the rest and tortured. Later he was taken on a dirt path via a military car. He was kicked out and forced to walk a fair distance. After walking, the Nazis shouted at him. Turning around, he was shot at and mortally wounded. The guards approached him, kicked him, and filled his mouth with dirt. Some of his brothers came from digging ditches and happened upon him: he was given absolution shortly before his death. The date was August 28th, vigil of the Martydom of St. John the Baptist, of whom Mazurek was particularly devoted.

    Like so many of the great Catholic martyrs and saints, he was devoted to Mary. This devotion brought out personal piety and a special sympathy in him for the sick and poor. Strict and often stringent on details, he was able to carry his religious philosophy to practical ends, giving his pupils a better education and his order a honorable hero.

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