Biography of Father Józef Sabiński

Born November 17, 1880, in Skoki, Poznań province. Graduated from seminary in Wƚocƚawek, Gregorian University in Rome, and the Philological Department of Breslau (Germany) University; ordained in 1905. From 1910 he was administrator of the parish in Kitajgród; from 1914 he served in Łuck; from 1918, in Krzemieniec [Kremenits]. He later left for Poland, took part in the Wielkopolska Uprising (1918-1919); in 1919, during the Polish-Soviet War, he was a military chaplain. After the war he served in Ukraine: in parishes in Lutsk, Kremenits, Liakhovtsy; from 1923, in Kunev, Shepetov district, where he was arrested in May 1928. Sentenced under Article 58-6 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to five years in corrective labor camp and in May 1928 he was sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. In 1931 he was sent to Anzer Island where, on July 5, 1932, he was arrested in a case against Catholic clergy who were charged with “creation of an anti-Soviet group, carrying out anti-Soviet agitation, secretly celebrating Mass and religious rites and maintaining an illegal contact with a free worker for purposes of transmitting abroad information of an espionage nature about the situation of Catholics in the USSR.” July 9, 1932 – the investigators petitioned that he be transferred to a Special Board of the OGPU, Leningrad Military District, for its disposition, as one of the “leaders who very boldly led the group of priests.” July 22, 1932 – transported from Solovetsky to Leningrad Prison and later released. From September 1932 he was pastor of St. Casimir Church in Leningrad, and also tended Sacred Heart of Jesus, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Aleksey, and St. Francis churches. In Leningrad the GPU proposed that he collaborate with them and provide surveillance on the French priest, Fr. Jean Amoudrou. He refused this proposal. In in December 1933 he was again arrested; sentenced to three years in prison [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to the Orel Political Isolator and then on November 25, 1934, he was banished to Tashkent, where he served at a church. At his request, the Polish Red Cross was working on getting him released to Poland; at first the authorities agreed, but on May 8, 1936, the Red Cross received word that the exit visa had been cancelled. Fate thereafter unknown. There is information that prior to 1939 Fr. Józef Savinski [sic] was a priest in Tashkent. There is also information that he was arrested as the pastor of the church in Tashkent in June 1937. In this case, it is most likely that he was sentenced to death and shot. However, it is possible that these facts relate to Fr. Józef Sovinski, a vicar in Yekaterinoslav. Sources: GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 356, l. 350-353; Dzwonkowski, pp. 427-428; Nowicki, p. 7; Osipova (1996), p. 200; Shkarovskii, p. 237; Madała, p. 138; Schnurr, p. 368
Variant Names:
Sabiński, Józef; Sabinskiĭ, Iosif Boleslavovich
Skoki (Poland); Włocławek (Poland); Rome (Italy); Wrocław (Poland); Lut︠s︡ʹk (Ukraine); Anzerski Island (Russia); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
male; clergy and religious; fate unknown