Fr Joseph Cebula O.M.I. was beatified on Sunday June 13th 1999 by Pope John Paul during his pastoral visit to Poland. Joseph Cebula was born in Poland on March the 23rd 1902. He entered the Oblate Junior Seminary in 1920 and was ordained a priest on June 25th 1927.
In 1937 he was made Novice Master ad Markowice and was recognised by his fellow religious as a man of great kindness and prayer. These were years of great turmoil for Poland, and in October 1939 the 100 strong community at Markowice were placed under house arrest. In October 1940 the community were evicted and the noviciate made into a centre for the Hitler Youth.
Fr. Joseph was called before the authorities on several occasions for refusing to stop saying Mass and hearing confessions. Eventually he was arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Mauthausen. Here he continued his priestly ministry, and as a result was constantly beaten and ridiculed. As a priest he was given the heaviest work and was forced to sing the preface of the Mass out loud. During all this Fr. Joseph was killed on April 28th 1941 by a volley of shots that tore into his head and shoulders. His body was then thrown into the crematorium. Out of 277 Oblates in Poland in 1939, 35 were sent to concentration camps.