Augustus Hlond (Polonia)

Cause established by the Congregation (of Saints..) on March 6, 1998. Vice postulator: Fr Marian Burniak, SC. Proposer: Fr. Eszer Ambrosius, O.P.

Beginning of diocesan process: 1-9-1992; Conclusion: 10-21-96

Three brothers in all became Salesians

Augustus was born at Brzechowice, Poland on July 5, 1881. Attracted by the fame of Don Bosco, already at the age of 12, Hlond followed his elder brother to Italy to be ale to consecrate himself in the Salesian Congregation. This encouraged two more of his brothers to do the same. 

Distinguished path of leadership

He was admitted to the novitiate and received the clerical habit from the hands of Blessed Michael Rua, in 1896. Having completed his studies in the Gregorian University, he returned to Poland for his regency (Practical Taining) at Oswiecim. Augustus was ordained a priest on September 23, 1905. He was appointed Rector of the new house of Pizemysl (1907-09) and later that of Vienna (1909-19). In 1919 when the Austro-Hungarian province was divided, he was made Provincial (1919-22). In two years the young Provincial was able to found some ten new houses. 

Bishop of Ktowice, then Cardinal

Having worked as Administrator Apostolic, he was ordained Bishop of Ktowice on January 3, 1926. On June 24 of the same year, Bishop Augustus became the Primate of Poland. In the following year on June 20, the Pope nominated him Cardinal. He was also in charge of the Polish people dispersed in various parts of the world. For this he founded a Congregation named "Christ the King".

The Calvary years of war

With the Second World War his Calvary started. Cardinal Hlond was forced into exile till the end of the war, at first in Rome from where he started a courageous defence of his fatherland. It intensified in France when he took shelter at Lourdes. >From there the Nazi police deported him to Paris so that he could form a Polish government favourable to them. But the Cardinal resolutely refused it. Hence the Nazis imprisoned him, first at Lorene and later at Westphalia. However, the Allied Forces freed him and was able to return to Poland where he was appointed Archbishop of Warsaw. Earlier he had defended his people from the horrors of Nazism, so now with his vigorous pastoral letters, he continued to defend them from Bolshevist atheism.

Triumph in death

God protected him from more than one attempt on his life, reserving for him the death of a great Patriarch on October 22, 1948. His funeral was a real triumph. For the first time in the history of Poland the internment took place in the cathedral itself.