Biography of Father Peter Awgƚo

Born in 1861; a native of Ungury, Toviansk county, Kovno province (Lithuania). In 1887 he graduated from the Theological Seminary in St. Petersburg and was ordained on February 11, 1887. In 1887 and 1888 he served in churches in Dvinsk. From 1888 to 1896 he was at the church in Mstislavl. From 1896 to 1913 he was pastor of a church in Smolensk, then from 1916 he was at St. Francis Church in St. Petersburg. In 1923 he was arrested in the Cieplak case, but soon released. From 1925 he was pastor of St. Barbara Church in Vitebsk. In 1927 he was arrested in Vitebsk and charged with espionage and counter-revolutionary activity. After six and a half months in the Smolensk Prison, he was released. From 1928 he was pastor of the cathedral parish in Mogiliev and administrator of the Mogiliev and Minsk dioceses. June 13, 1937 – arrested in Mogiliev; July 3 indicted on charges that he was the “leader of the insurgent organization POV and an agent of Polish intelligence, involved in espionage activity and the creation of cells of POV in Belorussia for armed struggle with the Soviet regime.” August 25, 1937 –sentenced to death under Articles 72, 66 and 68 of the Criminal Code of the Belorussian SSR [NKVD Collegium, BSSR]. August 27, 1937 – shot, in Minsk Prison, along with four other priests. In 1930, under the leadership of Father Peter Awgƚo, a letter was sent to Archbishop Ropp to be delivered to the Vatican. The letter described in detail the atmosphere of humiliation and harassment of priests and parishioners: “Clergy are forbidden access to hospitals; the sick die without confession in Communist cooperatives and collectives. Whoever has his child baptized, or marries in the church, or visits a church will be fired from his job, excluded from trade unions, and even denied disability pension. They no longer assess churches and clergy with taxes, but with a contribution […] They do not even give clergy or devout Catholics bread ration cards, and anyone who lets a priest into his apartment is assessed with a tax. The cemetery is in shambles, the crosses are broken, the headstones in ruins, the crucified body has been ripped off the crucifixes, corpses are dug up in search of a gold ring or cross […]. In school they taunt the Catholic children, they describe them in the newspapers as an ‘unsuitable element.’ The teachers tear crosses and medals from the children and force the pupils to publicly dance, blaspheme and eat meat on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.” Source: Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 144-146; Archive of Directorate, KGB, Republic of Belarus; Madała, p. 20; Osipova (1996), p. 145; letter dictated by Fr. Piotr Awgło in 1930 (personal archive of R. Dzwonkowski); P.I. Avglo, Archive of KGB, Republic of Belarus; Shkarovskii, p. 211.
Variant Names:
Avglo, Petr Iosifovich; Awgƚo, Peter
Kaunas (Lithuania); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Smolensk (Russia); Mohyliv-Podilʹsʹkyĭ (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; executed