Around 34,000 people to attend Ulma family beatification

An estimated 34,000 people are expected to attend the beatification on Sunday of family murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War for sheltering Jews, according to the chancellor of the archdiocese of the south-eastern city of Przemysl.

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children were shot on March 24, 1944 for harbouring members of two Jewish families. The eight Jews found hiding in the Ulma’s attic were also killed.

The Ulmas were practicing Catholics, and their faith, according to historians, played a significant role in their decision to take in Jews fleeing the Holocaust despite the huge risks involved.

It is the first time that an entire family will be beatified together.

Fr Bartosz Rajnowski told PAP that 34,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony on Sunday, including about 32,000 members of the public, 80 bishops, around 1,000 priests, about 1,500 members of choirs and orchestras, and about 600 invited guests.

The Pope's envoy, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, will preside over the beatification ceremony, which will take place in Markowa, the home town of the Ulmas.

Following the liturgy, a link-up with Pope Francis is planned, who will recite the Angelus prayer and give the participants of the ceremony an apostolic blessing.

"The most important moment of the beatification ceremony will be the reading of the beatification formula in Latin by the papal envoy," said Fr Rajnowski. "Then the image of the new blessed will be unveiled and the procession with the relics of the Ulma Family will set off, which will then be placed at the altar."

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