Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Over 100 pilgrims remember priest tortured by communists

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Table of Contents

Cihost, East Bohemia, Feb 25 (CTK) – More than 100 pilgrims on Sunday commemorated Czech Catholic priest Josef Toufar (1902-1950), who was killed by the communist secret police (StB), in the village of Cihost, where he served before his death.

The event started with a concert at 10:00, followed by a mass celebrated by Premonstratensian Monastery abbot Marian Rudolf Kosik.

The afternoon programme continued in a church in Zahradka, east Bohemia, the first parish to which Toufar was sent, and in nearby Kaliste where a discussion with Milos Dolezal, the author of a book about Toufar, and the postulator of his beatification process, Tomas Petracek, took place.

The mass in Zahradka was celebrated by Tomas Halik, who said Toufar “died after brutal torturing by the Communist police, exactly two years after the ‘victory of working people’ and of the consequences of this Communist coup.”

Abbot Kosik called the events on February 25, 1948, when Communists had seized power in Czechoslovakia, “the victory of evil.”

Pilgrims from Prague and other Czech towns as well as the neighbouring Slovakia came to Cihost despite heavy frosts on Sunday.

In 2012, a foundation was established that helped save the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cihost. The foundation invested some four million crowns in the church’s repairs in seven years.

Along with financial gifts, many people contributed with their own work on the church’s reconstruction, Vera Kovandova, from the foundation, said.

Toufar, who served in Cihost, was investigated by the StB in connection with the “Cihost miracle” in December 1949 when a cross standing on the main altar of the local church moved several times during his sermon. The communist regime used the event as a pretext to persecute the Catholic Church.

Toufar was arrested and tortured. The police investigators wanted him to confess that he had moved the cross in order to fake a miracle. Toufar died of a burst stomach ulcer following brutal beating in February 1950 at the age of 47.

Toufar was buried in a mass grave at the Prague-Dablice cemetery under a false name. His relatives were informed about his death in 1954 only.

Toufar’s remains were exhumed from the mass grave of political prisoners in 2014. In July 2015, they were brought to the Cihost parish and placed in the local church. Thousands of believers attended the ceremony with a mass.

The process of Toufar’s beatification is underway.

most viewed

Subscribe Now