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Rev Jozef Cebula

Photo added by Eman Bonnici

Rev Jozef Cebula

  • Birth 23 Mar 1902
  • Death 2 Apr 1941
  • Burial Cremated, Other, Specifically: Cremated And Dispersed At The Concentration Camp Of Mauthausen.
  • Memorial ID 65996402

Born in Malnia, Poland, on March 23, 1902, as a youth, Jozef Cebula suffered from tuberculosis and was in fact declared incurable. After an unexpected recovery, he visited an Oblate Shrine where he shared his story with Fr. Jan Pawolik OMI., who later died in Auschwitz. Fr. Pawolek advised Jozef to study with the Oblates at a newly established Oblate Seminary. Jozef entered the Oblate Junior Seminary in 1920, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 25, 1927.

In 1937 he was made novice master and was recognized 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 Oblate Community at Markowice was placed under house arrest. Later on that month, the Community was evicted and the novitiate was turned 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 Mauthausen Concentration Camp. 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 28, 1941. Stricken by a volley of shots that tore into his head and shoulders, he was thrown into the crematorium while still alive.

Fr. Cebula was forced to carry 60-pound rocks from a quarry to a camp two miles away. He had to climb a 144-step staircase called the Death Stairs, while being beaten and insulted by his tormentors. Two arduous trips were all he could make.

Summoning his remaining strength, Fr. Cebula suddenly raised his voice and said: "It is not you who are in charge. God will judge you." He was ordered to run with the rock on his back, towards the camp's barbed wire fence. A guard fired with his submachine gun and declared that Jozef "was shot while attempting to escape." Out of 277 Oblates in Poland in 1939, 35 were sent to concentration camps.

Pope John Paul II declared Father Cebula blessed during a ceremony held in Poland on June 13, 1999.


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  • Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 22 Feb 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 65996402
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Jozef Cebula (23 Mar 1902–2 Apr 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 65996402, ; Maintained by Eman Bonnici (contributor 46572312) Cremated, Other, who reports a Cremated And Dispersed At The Concentration Camp Of Mauthausen..