|Birth: ||Jun. 12, 1909|
|Death: ||Oct. 24, 1943|
(Translated from: http://www.druzina.si/icd/spletnastran.nsf/all/68E34F2A922BB1F9C1257164003B1E59)
"The Cistercian monk Father Placid Grebenc came from a family that had produced four children that dedicated themselves to the Catholic Church. He and his brother Maver were ordained monks at the monastery in Stična, and his two sisters were nuns: Sister Miljana was a member of the Sisters of Mercy and Sister Gizela was a member of the Sisters of Mary.
"Placid was born Alojzij Grebenc on 12 June 1909 in Dolenji Lazi in the parish of Ribnica, Lower Carniola. His father Franz was unusually educated for the time because he had finished secondary school and had wanted to become a priest, but had to take over the family farm. His family of ten children had a strong Christian spirit. Initially Alojzij, or "Lojzek," was a sickly child with heart and rheumatic problems, and thus somewhat reserved. Over the years, however, he became more decisive, animated, and relaxed, and even jolly. After primary school in Ribnica, he attended the private secondary school run by the Cistercians in Stična. There as a pupil he observed the lives of the monks, the beautiful masses celebrated in the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, the choral singing of the monks, and their sincere adoration of the Blessed Mother, and he became enthusiastic about the monastic life. In 1924 he became a novice, the following year he took his temporary vows, and in 1930 he vowed perpetual chastity, poverty, and obedience in the community of Cistercians at Stična. Fr. Placid celebrated his first mass in the basilica at Stična on Christmas Eve 1931, and his first mass in his home parish of Ribnica on Sunday, 27 December, 1931. On this occasion his sister Miljana presented him with a cross inscribed ‘I give you this cross because through the cross and suffering you shall enter the kingdom of heaven.' The newly ordained priest glowed with happiness. These words of his sister turned out to be prophetic because Fr. Placid truly entered eternity through the cross and suffering.
"In 1936 Fr. Placid graduated from the Faculty of Theology in Ljubljana and began working as a pastor. He was a sought-after confessor that had a special talent with young people. In 1938 he was appointed Sunday chaplain in Mirna. Because he could speak Italian, during the Italian occupation he was assigned to minister to Catholic Italian soldiers. Through his intervention with the Italian authorities he was able to petition for mercy for many local people not to be sent to concentration camps, and he prevented the Italians from burning some of the locals' houses. He also helped with the monastery workshops, which were quite extensive at the time, and was responsible for contact with the public at the monastery.
"The first cross that Fr. Placid bore was his illness, which recurred from time to time. He bore this cross faithfully and willingly. Even at the beginning of his monastic life he wrote that he wanted to completely dedicate himself to God, and he consistently realized this as the guiding principle of his life.
"A second, much heavier cross came with the Second World War, which turned into a civil war in Yugoslavia. Through the Liberation Front the Communist Party organized a war of national liberation, but also a revolution through which it sought to assume power. It murdered Slovenians that did not agree with its goals and that opposed the revolution. Clergy were especially targeted. Fr. Placid was resolutely opposed to godless communism and its criminal methods, which led to his death. After the capitulation of Italy in September 1943, the Partisans imprisoned Fr. Placid. He was imprisoned in various places, for the longest period in the castle in Kočevje. A few days before he was executed he was imprisoned in the rectory at Grčarice. On 24 October 1943 they led him, the parish priest Viktor Turk, and 21 fellow sufferers from the rectory, bound with wire to be tortured and shot. The priest Ivan Lavrih was also in the rectory then, and he administered the sacrament of confession to those condemned to death.
"Fr. Placid's execution date was World Mission Sunday. The seed of his life fell to the earth to create new growth. His life's gift was finished and his complete dedication to God was fulfilled. When the bodies of those killed were disinterred the following year so that they could have a Christian burial in a cemetery, they saw that Fr. Placid had a rosary around his neck. Just as he had given meaning to and enriched his monastic life and the month and a half of suffering that he endured in various prisons by praying the rosary, the rosary also accompanied him into death. He also partook of the joy and hope of eternal life on this final path. His sister's words expressed at his first mass were fulfilled: ‘Through the cross and suffering you shall enter the kingdom of heaven.'
"Placid's life expressed a constant connection to the Virgin Mary. Saturday, the day of Mary, greatly marked his life. He was born on a Saturday, 12 June 1909, he began his novitiate on a Saturday, 4 October 1924, he graduated on a Saturday, 23 June 1938, and he was ordained a priest on a Saturday, 19 December 1931. Mary accompanied him his entire life. Since his boyhood he had honored the Virgin Mary. This connection with Mary was strengthened at Stična because the Cistercians have a strong orientation toward Mary. For just over 24 years he was under the protection of Our Lady of Sorrows. He looked to Her with hope when he went to the church several times a day to join in group prayer. Every evening he and his fellow brothers sang ‘Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae'. And Mary also accompanied him on his final path, when he went to Her maternal embrace with his rosary around his neck. Following the example of Fr. Placid Grebenc we too grow to love this prayer to Mary and through it deliver ourselves into the protection of our heavenly mother."
Note: Monument to the victims of communism
Created by: Donald Reindl
Record added: Sep 14, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58667072