Museum Opens 20 Years After Notorious Murder of Polish Priest

A museum opened in Poland Saturday in dedication of a pro-Solidarity priest tortured and murdered by Poland’s communist secret police. The murder, which took place 20 years on this date, is one of Poland’s most notorious.

On Oct. 19, 1984, the body of Father Jerzy Popieluszko body was stuffed in a sack weighed down with stones and thrown into the Vistula River after Poland’s communist secret police abducted and killed the prominent anti-communist, pro-Solidarity leader.

The murder outraged Poland’s predominantly Roman Catholic population and drew more than 600,000 to the priest’s funeral service.

Now Warsaw’s St. Stanislaw Church, where Popieluszko’s “Masses for the Homeland” had attracted tens of thousands of worshippers, is the location of the new museum dedicated to Popieluszko’s life.

According to the Associated Press, visitors are able to enter the 10-room museum, situated in the cellar of the church, and see exhibits ranging from the cradle in which he slept as a child to the clothes in which he was abducted.

Popieluszko’s grave is located in the church courtyard, and according to AP, the Vatican had already started a process of beautification of the slain priest in 2001 but has complete it.

The four Security Service officers who were convicted of the murder after a quick trial conducted by the communist regime have all since been released from prison.