A celebration marking the beatification of the Ulma family

Date: 13-09-2023 Hour: 18:30

Event place: The London Oratory

The Polish Cultural Institute in London, together with the Catholic Truth Society and The London Oratory, are delighted to welcome you at an event organized to mark the beatification of the Ulma Family – Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children, were killed by the Nazis for hiding a Jewish family in their home in Poland. Their beatification will take place on the 10th of September 2023. The Ulma family will become the first family to be beatified all at once and their seventh child the first unborn child to be beatified.

The event marking the beatification will take place at St Wilfrid’s Hall at The London Oratory and will commence with a talk by Pierpaolo Finaldi, Chief Executive Officer and Publisher at the Catholic Truth Society and other speakers (TBC).

The event will be followed by a drinks and canapés reception.

As well as presenting the audience with a profile of the Ulma Family and the significance of their heroic actions, the event will also be a chance for attendees to hear more about the first English-language publication about the family and their remarkable story – “No greater Love, The Martyrdom of the Ulma Family” by Jean Olwen Maynard, whose publication date is expected to fall in the vicinity of the beatification date. 

Event Outline

  • 6:30pm – Guests arrive, soft drinks served, guests take their seats
  • 7pm – Speakers take the floor
  • c. 7.40pm – Drinks & canapés served & chance to pre-order or purchase copies of “No greater Love, The Martyrdom of the Ulma Family”

About the Ulma Family

Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their children lived in the Polish village of Markowa, one of the largest villages in Poland in the interwar period. In the summer and autumn of 1942, the Germans murdered most of Markowa’s Jewish residents, but those Jews who had previously managed to find shelter in the houses of the local peasants, managed to stay alive – the Ulmas were one of the heroic couples who chose to offer shelter to their Jewish neighbours. 

Despite great personal risk to their own lives (the punishment in Poland for helping or sheltering Jews, was death) and guided by the parable of the good Samaritan, around December 1942, the Ulmas took in a group of Jews in need. Tragically, on the 24th of March 1944, all the members of the Ulma family: Józef, his wife Wiktoria, who was pregnant, their six children and all the Jews they had been hiding, were murdered by German military policemen as a result of a denunciation, probably made by a representative of the Polish police, who were at that time subordinate to the Germans. A total of seventeen people were murdered.

Today, in Poland, the Ulma family serves as a symbol of those Poles who died at the hands of the Germans for helping Jews during the Nazi-German occupation of Poland. On 13 September 1995, the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem posthumously honoured Józef and Wiktoria Ulma with the title of the Righteous Among the Nations. 

In 2010, the late President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, granted them the Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland.  

In 2016, a museum named after the Ulma family, dedicated to all Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust, was opened in Markowa, on the initiative of Mateusz Szpytma, then an employee of the Krakow office of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance and a current Deputy Director of the Institute.

Since 2018,  by the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland, 24 March,  the anniversary of the tragic events which took place in Markowa, is celebrated as the National Day of Remembrance of Poles who Rescued Jews under German occupation.

On 17 December 2022, Pope Francis approved the decree on the martyrdom of the Ulma family and authorized the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints to publish it. 

The beatification of the Ulma family will take place on 10 September 2023 in Markowa, Poland.

About the Catholic Truth Society

CTS was founded by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan in 1868, 18 years after the Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in England. Vaughan also built Westminster Cathedral. The Catholic Truth Society is a Catholic Charity publishing non-stop since it was founded. With its mission to communicate the truths of the Catholic faith, CTS is one of the oldest and most inspiring Catholic organisations existing today.

About the London Oratory

The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, better known as the Brompton Oratory, is home to the Congregation of the Oratory of St Phillip Neri in London, a community of Priests living under the rule of life established by its founder in the sixteenth century. The Oratory also serves as a parish church in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster. The London Oratory is one of five Oratories in the UK.

About the Polish Cultural Institute in London

The Polish Cultural Institute in London, is the leading institution promoting the richness of Poland’s contemporary culture and heritage to Britain’s multicultural audience in an engaging and informative way through exciting projects and events in London and the wider UK. Always actively striving to establish connections with UK-based arts and cultural institutions, to date, it has collaborated with some of the most recognisable arts institutions in the UK such as the National Gallery, The Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and British Film Institute. The institute is dedicated to nurturing and promoting cultural ties between the United Kingdom and Poland, both through British exposure to Poland’s cultural achievements, as well as through exposure of Polish artists and scholars to British trends, institutions, and professional counterparts. The institute’s programme covers the visual arts, design, film, theatre, music and literature. 

WHEN:13 September 2023, 6.30pm

WHERE: St Wilfrid’s Hall, The London Oratory, Brompton Road, London, SW7 2RP


Exchange rates