- Feb 10View SourceAmazing grace! Thank you for sharing this inspiring life!Teresa
Dear Friends and Brothers and Sisters in Carmel,
This is the email and all the contents of my research, which I sent to our immediate family today.
Some of you are not Catholics so you may not understand some of this, but feel free to ask.
This is very special and exciting.
It is a joy to share with you all.
We have been so blessed because we have a Cousin in the family who was beatified by Bl. John Paul II the Great in 1999. Our cousin was one of the Polish martyrs who were beatified in Warsaw.
Because media never individually listed the Blesseds, I only knew about two of them, who were Carmelites.
Here is our family history. My mom’s parents were born in Jordanow, Poland and the population when they left was approx. 1,000. (Today it is approx 5,000)
Rudolph Dankowski, (who is Mom’s dad) had 3 brothers and 2 sisters and he was the youngest. He came to Chicago in 1900 at age 16 and Grandma and he were married in 1905 and Aunt Gene was born in 1906.
Well, in 1908 Peter Edward Dankowski was born in Jordanow. It is more than likely that he is Grandpa’s nephew which makes him Mom’s first cousin. Cousin Ted Smeja was also Mom’s first cousin, but from her mother’s side.
Our Cousin Peter became a diocesean priest of Cracow. He was assigned to a parish in Zakopane. While there he was known for his love and his care for the poor and he started helping and hiding Jews. He was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz in May of 1941 and was killed four months before St. Benedicta (Edith Stein), our Discalced Carmelite saint was killed. He was tortured and killed there for being a priest. He died on April 3, 1942 at the age of 33 and it was Good Friday.
I will paste below all the research I did to learn more about him. With one miracle, he will be canonized.
At the beginning of this information, I have a photo of Jordanow (reminds me of Temecula…hills surrounded by mountains, but weather is like Illinois). I also found the historical story of when the Jews were rounded up and killed in Jordanow. It appears that another member of our family was killed by a grenade that day. Jordanow put up a Memorial of Blessed Peter at the home he was born and lived in and the pictures of it are here too.
I have included 2 painting pictures of Bl. Peter and one photo, and one painting of all the Polish martyrs who were canonized with him. It is small so I didn’t locate his face in there yet.
The name and address of his postulator are there (man in charge of his canonization process) and perhaps he can send us Holy Cards of our Cousin!
We can help with his cause for canonization by “promoting” it. This means we tell people about him and ask them to talk/pray to him for favors. If a cure or miracle is obtained, it is reported to the postulator to be verified. I have been promoting the causes for some of our Discalced Carmelite “Blesseds” but I will be focusing now to promote our own Cousin!!!
He has two feast days, if the info is correct….his date of death, April 3, as well as the feast for all those martyrs together on June 12
Jordanow is a small town situated about 60 km (about 37 miles) from Krakow, on the Skawa River, in Makowski Beskid. Jordanow is pronounced “Yor-da-noof” with emphasis on the middle syllable. Jordanow is in the Beskid... also known as Yordanov, Yordanuv, Yordanev
Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia
(this is the account of the roundup of Jews after our cousin was killed—it was written in Hebrew and I found a translation at New York Public Library)
Monument for Jewes
by ZiOOlek Updated Feb 22, 2007 953 reviews
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The monument commemorates Jewes from Jordanow who was murdered by Nazi in August 1942. It is located in the oputskirts of the town in a place called Pod Zakretami (under turns).
Yordanov's location near the Slovakian border led to an early occupation of the area by the Germans, the patrons of the new Slovakia. The Luftwaffe bombed the town, and the small Polish units stationed there fled in confusion. As homes went up in flames, their residents sought shelter in the cellars. A grenade killed Town Secretary Dankovski, at which the other officials took flight. Before the German tanks shelled the buildings, the soldiers pillaged the shops.
All the Jews were bidden by the Judenrat to register for labor. The young people were sent to work quarrying stone, building bridges and serving the estates in the area. Women were set to sweep the streets and clear the wreckage, in return for which they were paid enough to buy half a pound of bread a day. Once the Jews had nothing left with which to buy food from the Poles, they were always on the borderline of starvation. In 1940 the Jewish quarter was placed under curfew, and the Jews had to wear an armband with the Shield of David sewn to the sleeve. Travel by train was forbidden. In 1941 all Jewish property was confiscated. The Nazis sent Jews from Sluptza to Yordanov, in order to clear the Posnan district of all Jews. They were quartered in shacks and assigned to forced labor.
The methodical Germans kept compiling lists of the Jewish inhabitants, for labor or slaughter. All along they levied ransom quotas on the Judenrat. Unable to meet these demands, the heads of the Judenrat went to other communities for help. Their own people contributed their gold teeth. The campaign was still on when the roundup began. The Gestapo went from house to house, dragged out the occupants, and shot them. After them came the farmers with their wagons to collect the corpses and take them to the horse cemetery in Ushlatz.
On the same day (30.8.42) that disaster struck the Nowy-Targ community, it also came to Yordanov. The Jews were ordered to assemble in the town square: some, aware of what was ahead, stayed away. Later in the day another contingent of Gestapo men arrived from Nowy-Targ, where the slaughter was over. The Jews were taken to the lawn bordering the square and murdered. Their corpses were taken to pits dug by Poles, who removed the shoes from the corpses before throwing them into the pits.
On checking the lists, the Germans discovered that some Jews
were still at large. They searched all the houses in the town and the surrounding villages, ferreting out those they could find. Some escaped into the nearby forests and tried to cross into Slovakia; the Germans didn't have enough men to watch every inch of the border. Their path was barred by the peasants, who hunted them down and extorted from them whatever they still possessed - then turned them over to the Gestapo or killed them on the spot.
In the Cemetery
No Jew has survived to tell the story of what took place in the Yordanov cemetery. This was done by a Polish woman, Maria Richlik. Her house was near the cemetery, and she witnessed the unbelievable atrocities committed there by the Nazis: Two Jewish families were ordered to strip, in the January cold; when nothing was found on them, they were brutally beaten to death... the Starkenberg family was murdered and laid out in order, the father holding his little children by the hand... If Jews showed signs of life under the soil spread over them, the Germans trampled them with their boots until nothing moved.
Bl. Peter Edward Dankowski of Jordanow [Piotr] (Polish, diocesan priest, martyred by Nazis at Auschwitz [Poland] at age 33 in 1942 [beatified 1999]) Good Friday was on Friday, 3rd April.
Piotr Edward Dankowski, April 3
Bottom of Form
Blessed Edward Peter (Piotr Edward) Dankowski
Priest and Martyr
Jordanow, Poland, June 21, 1908 – Auschwitz, April 3, 1942
Blessed Piotr Edward Dankowski, diocesan priest, was born in Jordanow June 21, 1908 and died in Auschwitz, Poland, April 3, 1942. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw on June 13, 1999 with 107 other Polish martyrs.
Roman Martyrology: Close to Cracow in Poland in the extermination camp of Auschwitz, Blessed Peter Edward Dankowski, priest and martyr, who, in time of submission of the homeland to a foreign military regime, put in prison for his Christian faith, he he was tortured, thus achieving martyrdom.
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This monument is located in a place where was a house of Piotr Dankowski. He was born on June 21 1908 in the house and grew up here.
Dankowski was a priest and died in Auschwitz in April 1942.
Dankowski was blessed by the Pope John Paul II in Warsaw on June 13, 1999.
Also known as
- Peter Edward Dankowski
Priest in the Archdiocese of Kraków, Poland. Vicar of the parish of Zakopane, he was known for his service to the people, especially thepoor. During World War II he helped escapees hiding from the Nazis.Arrested in May 1941 and sentenced to the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz). One of the 108 Martyrs of World War II.
this is photo of Zakopane and a photo of the parish church, Holy Family Church
- if you have
information relevant to the canonization of Blessed Piotr, contact
Rev. Tomasz Kaczmarek
Postulacja Generalna Procesu Meczenników Kosciola w Polsce ul. Karnkowskiego
387-800 Wloclawek, POLAND
- “Blessed Piotr Edward Dankowski”.
PIOTR EDWARD DAŃKOWSKI
priest of the archdiocese of Kraków
born: 21 June 1908 in Jordanów, Małopolskie (Poland)
died: 03 April 1942 in Oświęcim (a.k.a. Auschwitz), Małopolskie (Poland)
Blessed Peter Edward Dankowski (1908-1942)
Commemorated 3 April
Blessed Peter Edward Dankowski (pl: Piotr Edward) was born in 1908 and was diocesan priest in the Archdiocese of Kraków. He was vicar of the parish of Zakopane, known for his great pastoral zeal and his service to the people, especially the poor. In the war years he helped sacrificial fugitives hiding abroad from oppressors, and so he risked his own life.
He was arrested by police in May 1941 and sentenced to be sent to the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz). When he died on Good Friday the 3rd April 1942 as a result of the sadistic abuse he endured only because he was a Catholic priest, he took leave of his friend with these words: "See you in the kingdom of God!"
He was beatified on 13 June 1999 by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw as one of the 108 Polish martyrs of Nazism. The group has officially named "The Blessed Anthony Julian Nowowiejski, Henrik Kaczorowski, Anicetus Koplinski and Maria Anna Bier Nacka and their 104 companions." He is No. 26 on the list. His feast day is the day of death 3 April, while the whole group feast day is 12 June.