Biography of Father Zygmunt Chmielnicki

Born November 11, 1891, in Lutsk district, Volyn province. Graduated from Zhytomyr Seminary and was ordained in 1918. From 1918 he served in Ushomyr and also in Goroshki; from 1920 he was chancellor of the Diocese of Lutsk-Zhytomyr. He prepared three candidates for the priesthood from his parish and asked Fr. Teofil Skalski for help in completing their preparation [All candidates were alter arrested]. These letters were seized and used against him. November 6, 1923 – arrested on charges of “espionage on behalf of Poland.” The investigators were unable to substantiate the charge that he had carried out espionage activity, and thus he was released on December 25 and his file was closed May 10, 1924, for “lack of proof of the charges” [Extraordinary Session, Volyn City Court]. From 1924 he was administrator of the parish in Belavka, Berdychiv deanery; he also served at the Church of St. Barbara in Berdychiv; he assisted the Discalced Carmelites, especially on holy days when there were many pilgrims. In June 1926 he was arrested in Berdychiv, sent to Moscow and held in Butyrka Prison, where he worked as an assistant to the librarian. In 1927 he was released from prison and returned to his own parish. January 31, 1928 – departed to Poland as part of an exchange. Served in the Diocese of Lutsk, worked in the episcopal court, and was a spiritual director at Lutsk Diocesan Seminary. In 1931 he became editor of the diocesan periodical, Zycie katolickie; in 1937 he became a professor at the Institute for preparation of Eastern Rite priests. He held the title of canon of Olyka and later became a monsignor [prelat]. From 1939 he served in Lutsk and remained there during the Soviet and German occupations. In 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Gross Rosen concentration camp, where he died after severe beatings during the night of April 16/17, 1944. His body was cremated. Sources: Dzwonkowski, p. 190; Sokolovskyi, pp. 218-219; Madała, pp. 33-34
Variant Names:
Chmielnicki, Zygmunt; Khmelnit︠s︡kiĭ, Zigmunt
Lut︠s︡ʹk (Ukraine); Z︠H︡ytomyr (Ukraine); Ushomir (Ukraine); Belavka (Berdychivsʹkyĭ raĭon, Ukraine); Moscow (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; died in prison