On 28 November 2023, Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance Mateusz Szpytma, Ph.D. delivered the opening lecture during the conference on the Blessed Ulma Family at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.
In the course of the lecture, Mateusz Szpytma. Ph.D., presented numerous photographs, taken by Blessed Józef Ulma, showing the daily life of the family. He emphasized the uniqueness of Józef, who engaged in the life of local community. In 1942, the Ulmas decided to give shelter to Jewish families, for which they were murdered by the Germans.
The Ulmas' life path shows that they were no strangers to empathy towards the problems faced by their neighbours, and that they were also friends with Jews, said Mateusz Szpytma, Ph.D.
The Deputy President of the IPN also took part in a discussion on the theological and moral aspects of the attitude of Blessed Jozef and Wiktoria. The following persons participated in the panel discussion: Sr. Catherine Joseph Droste OP – professor of moral theology at the Angelicum, George Weigel – Professor at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, and author of numerous books on the recent history of the Church that include a well-known biography of St. John Paul II, and Kamil Kopera of the Pilecki Institute. The panel was moderated by Tomasz Herbich of the St. Nicholas Foundation.
I wanted to thank Dr. Mateusz Szpytma for his presentation and work at the Institute of National Remembrance, which is now one of the foremost research institutions in the world, said Prof. George Weigel.
The conference was concluded with a screening of the film "The Ulmas. The Blessed Family."
The event was organized by the St. John Paul II Cultural Institute and the St. Nicholas Foundation.
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Wiktoria and Józef Ulma decided to shelter in their home 8 Polish Jews to save them from German-perpetrated Holocaust. On 24 March 1944, pregnant Wiktoria, Józef, their 6 children and all the Jews they tried to rescue were shot dead by German gendarmes. On 10 September 2023, the whole family were proclaimed blessed by the Catholic Church. The beatification of the Ulma Family took place in Markowa, Poland.