Biography of Father Antoni Dziemieszkiewicz

Born in 1891 in Tasharovo, Bryansk province. Graduated from St. Petersburg Seminary and was ordained in 1918 for the Archdiocese of Mogiliev. In 1920 the Bryansk Provincial Executive Committee ordered him to promptly find a position in government service or be drafted into the Red Army. December 11, 1920 – Archbishop Jan Cieplak appealed to authorities, stating that Fr. Antoni was the only Catholic priest in Bryansk oblast and that he was “obliged to visit the sick, bury the dead, celebrate Mass and so forth – which was incompatible with government service.” The authorities then left Fr. Antoni in peace. From 1925 he served as administrator of parishes in Nizhni Novgorod, Vladimir and Kazan. Arrested in 1929. March 13, 1930 – sentenced to ten years in corrective labor camp [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. In 1937 he was transferred to the prison block. October 9, 1937 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast]. November 3, 1937 – shot, in Sandormokh, outside Medvezhegorsk. In 1992, Adelia Ozharevskaia, a parishioner of Fr. Antoni, recalled: “Fr. Antoni attracted people with his kindness, intellect, artistic giftedness and eloquence. His homilies were interesting, simple and inspired; they awakened in one the very best sentiments. In addition to his concerns with the church, Fr. Antoni always visited the sick and the poor, helping them with whatever he could. In those difficult years of the 1920s, when the food situation was so dire, Fr. Antoni sought ways to help the poor: for example, being an artist, he made various statuettes from clay and painted them (all this was done at the expense of his time for rest and sleep). Several parishioners would then take the statuettes and sell them, and the money thus earned would go to help the poor. He accepted a martyr’s death – and why? Because he was a pure soul, because he was devoted to God, to the Church and the people! Blessed be his memory! We, like wandering sheep, were scattered all about and for a long time bore this heavy loss in our hearts.” Source: Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, p. 97; Osipova (1996), p. 165; letter from Fr. M. Beverati, pastor of the parish in Nizhni-Novgorod, dated August 9, 1999; Protocols of Sessions of Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast; Reznikova, p. 21; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 1448; Dzwonkowski, pp. 221-222; Madała, pp. 50-51
Variant Names:
Dzemeshkevich, Antonii Nikolaevich; Dziemieszkiewicz, Antoni
Saint Petersburg (Russia); Vladimir (Vladimirskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Kazanʹ (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; executed