Saturday, December 9, 2023
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8 is the patronal feast of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. On that day, in the church in Lubliniec, Poland, took place the inauguration of the Jubilee Year on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Fr. Joseph Cebula OMI.
Blessed Fr. Joseph Cebula was born on March 23, 1902 in Malnia in the Opole region. He was a respected religious and educator. He served as superior of the Lower Seminary in Lubliniec and superior of the novitiate in Markowice. During the war, he sheltered refugees from other houses in the Markowice monastery. Despite the risks and prohibitions of the German occupier, he faithfully continued to perform his priestly duties. Among other things, he defied the order issued by the German invaders to destroy local shrines and holy statues, telling his subordinates, "Whoever wants to be an oblate will not go to smash statues."
On April 18, 1941, he was sent to the Mauthausen death camp. He was cruelly tortured and mocked. After three weeks in the camp, on May 9, driven to the barbed wires surrounding the camp, he died from machine gun bullets, shot by one of the guards. He was beatified by St. John Paul II in Warsaw on June 13, 1999, along with 108 World War II martyrs.
The Oblate cross worn by Blessed Fr. Joseph Cebula OMI