Pope Francis on Sunday beatified Polish priest Władysław Bukowiński. The ceremony was held in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, where Bukowiński worked as a longtime missionary during the communist era.
An official beatification decree was read out in Karaganda Roman Catholic Cathedral, where papal legate Angelo Amato presided over ceremonies on Pope Francis’s behalf.
A miracle required for Bukowiński’s beatification was investigated in Karaganda in mid-2013 and was validated in Rome in November that year.
In the Roman Catholic Church, after beatification, another miracle is needed for canonization — leading to the formal declaration of a person being a saint.
Said to be the first Roman Catholic priest in then-Soviet Kazakhstan, Bukowiński spent more than 13 years in all in Soviet gulag camps and prisons from the 1940s until the 1970s while exercising his pastoral duties.
He visited Poland three times between 1963 and 1973, where he met the Archbishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła – the future Pope John Paul II.
Bukowiński died in 1974 in Karaganda, where he was buried.