Cihost, East Bohemia, July 12 (CTK) – The weekend ceremony at which the remains of Czech Catholic priest Josef Toufar, who was tortured to death by the StB communist secret police in 1950, were buried culminated by a mass served by Hradec Kralove Bishop Jan Vokal yesterday.
A speech was delivered to the pilgrims by Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka,
At the close of the mass, a metal casket with Toufar’s remains was buried in a grave in the local Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The mass was watched by a large crowd.
Organisers said several thousand pilgrims came to the ceremony. The mass was watched from two large Jumbotrons installed at the village square.
The parking lots were filled with hundreds of cars and several coaches, one of them with pilgrims from Poland.
Toufar has symbolically returned to the place of his last, two-year mission that cost him his life.
Toufar served as a priest and died in Cihost. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the one in which the event known as the Cihost Miracle occurred.
On December 11, 1949, a cross standing on the main altar of the church allegedly moved several times during Toufar’s sermon as a sign of a miracle. The communist regime used the event as a pretext to persecute the Catholic Church.
Toufar was arrested in 1950 and tortured. The police investigators wanted him to confess that he had moved the cross in order to fake a miracle. Toufar died at the age of 47 of a burst stomach ulcer following brutal beating.
The Communists then buried him under a false name in a mass grave.
Toufar’s remains were only taken from it last November.