Biography of Monsignor Marian Sokoƚowski

Born July 2, 1897, in Fedorovka, Podolskyi province. Finished high school in Vinnytsia and from 1911 worked in the offices of various factories. In 1915 he enrolled in Zhytomyr Seminary, but in May 1919 he asked to be accepted into the reestablished Diocese of Kamianets, where he received his seminary education and was ordained on July 4, 1920, by Bishop Peter Mańkowski who appointed him as a temporary vicar of [Sts. Peter and Paul] Cathedral parish in Kamianets-Podilskyi. In 1920 – during the Polish-Soviet War – he served in the dioceses of Sandomierz and Kielce, but in August he returned to his own parish. In October 1920, on assignment by the Vicar General of Kamianets, he traveled through many parishes, where he made changes, assigning each priest to several parishes. He took on himself the care of parishes in Kumanovets, Khmilnyk and Stara Synyavka. From October 1921 he also tended the parish in Snitkiv, outside Kopaihorod. From 1921 through 1927 he was repeatedly subjected to arrests but then released. April 12, 1923 – arrested in a case against “participants in the POV, a counter-revolutionary, insurgent organization,” but on June 7 he was released for “lack of proof of guilt” [Provincial Department, Podolski GPU]. Fr. Jan Lewiński wrote about Fr. Marian: “He is a very calm but strong person. One could break him, but not bend him …. People loved him for his diligence and his kindly attitude to people.” In the opinion of Fr. Lewiński and Fr. Jan Świderski, he was the embodiment of the finest qualities of a priest. At the invitation of Fr. Lewiński, he preached at the Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary of the Angels in Vinnytsia, he tried to counteract the influence of Komsomol on the youth, he sharply criticized the attitude of the Soviet regime toward the up-bringing of children. With the help of his parishioners, the Wierski sisters, teachers at the school in Snitkov, he nurtured the parishioners’ children in a Christian spirit. The parishioners loved him and in trying situations they often asked for his prayers. April 12, 1927 – arrested and sent to Mogiliev Prison. September 28, 1928 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, OGPU Collegium]. After the Polish consulate in Kharkiv proposed exchanging Fr. Marian, he was transported in March 1929 to Kharkiv Prison and the execution of the sentence was set aside in connection with the preparation of documents. January 10, 1932 – with the death sentence still unchanged, he was transported to the Yaroslavl Political Isolator, and then on September 12 he was sent to Moscow and held in Butyrka Prison. September 15 he was released to Poland as part of a prisoner exchange. He served in the Diocese of Łuck [Lutsk] and taught at the seminary. From 1933 he continued his studies at the Catholic University in Lublin and in 1935 he became a religion teacher in the Łuck high school, and also filled other responsibilities in the Diocese of Lutsk. In 1939 he was called up for service in the Army and became a chaplain; he ended up with the Polish Army in Hungary, where he was a chaplain in a hospital and a camp for interned Poles. In 1945 he was temporarily in a German concentration camp, from which he was released. After the war he returned to Poland. Served in the Diocese of Poznań, and from 1956, in Warsaw. In 1957 he became a religion teacher in the Railroad Technical Institute. From 1966 he was rector of a chapel in Zamek Bierzgƚowski, and later became the chaplain in a home for the elderly, where he himself retired and remained. He had the title of monsignor [prelat]. He left memoirs about his life and work in the USSR. From 1981 he was in a retirement home for priests in Wrocƚaw, where he died on April 15, 1988. Sources: Dzwonkowski, pp. 447-448; Osipova (1996), p. 201; Madała, p. 142
Variant Names:
Sokoƚowski, Marian; Sokolovskyĭ, Mar'i︠a︡n Vikent'evich
Fedorovka (Podillia, Ukraine); Vinnyt︠s︡i︠a︡ (Ukraine); Z︠H︡ytomyr (Ukraine); Kam'i︠a︡net︠s︡ʹ-Podilʹsʹkyĭ (Ukraine); Sandomierz (Poland); Kielce (Poland); Kharkiv (Ukraine); Moscow (Russia); Lut︠s︡ʹk (Ukraine); Lublin (Poland); Mahili︠o︡ŭ (Belarus); Poznań (Poland); Warsaw (Poland)
male; clergy and religious; survived