Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki
Timeline of the life
March 24, 1921
Franciszek Blachnicki was born in Rybnik as the seventh child of Józef and Maria Blachnicki.
He took an active part in the September Campaign, fighting against the Germans.
June 24, 1940
Franciszek was arrested. After an investigation he was incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz – as the prisoner No 1201.
September 19, 1941
He was transferred to prison in Zabrze and then to Katowice for further investigation.
March 30, 1942
Franciszek was sentenced to death for conspiracy against Nazi Germany.
June 17, 1942
While waiting for death in prison in Katowice, Franciszek experienced a miraculous conversion of faith in God. He decided to devote his life to God.
August 14, 1942
He was pardoned, and the death sentence was changed to 10 years in prison (after the future end of the war).
April 17, 1945
Franciszek, with the whole Lengenfeld camp, was liberated by the American Army.
August 6, 1945
He applied for admission to the Higher Silesian Seminary in Kraków.
Franciszek spent these years studying spiritual formation in the seminary; he achieved very good results. He was interested in psychology of religion, liturgics, and Mariology.
June 25, 1950
Franciszek Blachnicki was ordained a priest by bishop Stanisław Adamski in Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Katowice.
He held a retreat for the altar boys in Kokoszyce and Lubliniec. Fr. Blachnicki changed the traditional program to be better suited to the needs of children. His new program included teaching acolyte’s service, games, excursions, etc.
Fr. Blachnicki created the first experiential retreat for children.
August 10-14, 1952
The name, “Oasis for the Children of God,” appeared for the first time as the title of a retreat for children.
July 19 – August 1, 1954
The first “Oasis for the Children of God” retreat for the altar boys was held in Bibiela.
July 4-20, 1955
For the first time, the “Oasis for the Children of God” retreat was based on the Mysteries of the Rosary.
In the period when the Silesian Bishops were evicted from the diocese, Fr. Blachnicki took part in the work of the secret curia, falling into conflict with the Vicar Capitular Fr. Jan Piskorz.
Fr. Blachnicki took part in a retreat led by Fr. Karol Wojtyła in Kraków.
September 8, 1957
In Piekary (a Marian sanctuary in Silesia), Fr. Blachnicki began a national anti-smoking and anti-drinking campaign called “Crusade of Sobriety.” On August 10, 1958, the campaign was renamed to “Crusade of Temperance.” In three years this movement encouraged over one hundred thousand adults from all over the country to abstain from alcohol. This abstinence was offered to God as expiation for those who were addicted to alcohol. Because of his activity Fr. Blachnicki was constantly harassed and persecuted by the communist authorities.
August 29, 1960
The security forces raided the offices of the Crusade in Katowice, and Fr. Blachnicki was arrested and charged with illegal activity.
July 19, 1961
Fr. Blachnicki was given a ten-month prison sentence, which was suspended for three years.
The Diocesan Curia in Katowice accepted the request of Fr. Blachnicki to let him study pastoral theology at the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). This time of studying enabled him to deepen and write down his pastoral experiences from the years 1951-60. He published many works in the fields of pastoral theology, liturgics, and catechesis. This was also the time when the rudiments of the future Light-Life Movement were formed.
Fr. Blachnicki was appointed as the National Clergyman for Liturgical Servers. He developed the idea and methods of post-conciliar formation of the liturgical service.
June 8, 1979
The Crusade for the Liberation of Man was proclaimed in Nowy Targ, during the first pilgrimage of John Paul II to Poland.
Fr. Blachnicki created the plan of Great Evangelization ‘Ad Christum Redemptorem’ – a plan of proclaiming the Good News to each person living in Poland.
December 10, 1981
Fr. Blachnicki left for Rome to continue work on the Congress of the Renewal Movements and could not return to Poland because of the imposition of martial law.
Fr. Blachnicki settled in the Polish center “Marianum” in Carlsberg (West Germany), where he organized the International Life-Light Evangelization Center. He also did pastoral work among the immigrants from Poland.
Fr. Blachnicki created the Christian Service for the Liberation of Nations – an association gathering Poles and representatives of other middle-east European nations. This focused on the idea of internal sovereignty and the unity of these nations in their struggle for liberation. He established ecumenical relations with various Christian groups and renewal movements.
February 27, 1981
Fr. Blachnicki died unexpectedly in Carlsberg.
February 17, 1994
He received posthumously the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
May 5, 1995
He received posthumously the Auschwitz Cross medal.
December 9, 1995
This was the beginning of the beatification process for Fr. Blachnicki.
April 1, 2000
The mortal remains of the Servant of God, Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki were transferred to the Church of Good Shepherd in Krościenko.