Letter from Blessed Stanislaw Starowieysky, Polish Catholic, written in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where he died on 13 April 1941
Stanislaw spent his childhood in a family home in Krosno, where he joined the Congregation Society of Mary. After embarking on his law studies, he had to drop out in 1914 due to the outbreak of the First World War and was drafted into the Austrian army. After fighting on the Eastern Front in Russia and on the Italian front on the Piane River, he returned to Poland on 1 November 1918, where he joined the Polish army. He was promoted to the rank of captain, but became seriously ill during the fighting.
On 24th August 1921 he married Maria Szeptvcka with whom he had six children. Stanislaw was unable to complete his studies in law, but he dedicated his life to supporting the Catholic Church with charity work and preaching the Gospel.
In September 1934, he organised the Chelm Diocesan Eucharistic Congress. He supported Catholic Action with commitment and dedication, of which he was vice-president and later president of the Diocesan Institute AK Lublin. In 1934 Pope Pius XI awarded him the title of Papal Chamberlain.
After the outbreak of the Second World War he made his home a refuge for many fugitives and in 1939 with the invasion of Soviet troops in the Lublin area, Stanislaw and his brother were arrested. Initially they managed to escape while being transported to Tomaszòw Lubelski, but during the German occupation, on 19 June 1940 Stanislaw was again arrested and detained in the Zamosc fortress, where the Germans had set up a temporary camp for the arrested population, and then at Lublin Castle, a prison where over 40,000 people passed through during the German occupation. Subsequently Stanislaw was taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, in Block 49 under number 25711. In September 1940, he was deported to Dachau camp, in block 23 under number 16532. Among the prisoners, he never gave up communicating the Word of God and always offered his help to those in need. For this he was severely persecuted in the camp and his health suffered severely. He died on 13 April 1941, on the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The urn with his ashes was sent to his family by the camp authorities, after which he was buried in the family tomb in Łabuniach.
Stanislaw was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 13th June 1999 in Warsaw together with 108 blessed martyrs.
On 19 October 2012, during a Eucharistic liturgy presided over by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan of Warsaw, the memory of Stanisław Starowieyski was consigned to the Basilica of St Bartholomew on the Island together with those of the Polish martyrs Karolina Kózkówna, and Jerzy Popiełuszk.