Biography of Servant of God, Bishop Zygmunt Łoziński

Born June 8, 1870, in Baratsina, outside Navahrudak. Began high school in Warsaw, but completed it in St. Petersburg. In 1891 he graduated from the Archdiocesan Seminary and Catholic Theological Academy in St. Petersburg with a master’s degree in theology. Ordained June 23, 1895. From 1895 he was an instructor in Biblical Studies and homiletics at the seminary in St. Petersburg and a religion teacher in one of the city gymnasiums. November 17, 1898 – tsarist government had him imprisoned in the monastery in Aglona (Latvia) for three years for “Polish patriotism.” Released in 1900. He became vicar of a parish in Smolensk; in 1901, in Tula; in 1902, in Riga; in 1904, he was a priest of the filial church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Minsk; from April 1905 he was pastor of the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Minsk; from 1906 he was once again an instructor of Biblical Studies and Hebrew at the Archdiocesan Seminary and Catholic Theological Academy in St. Petersburg. From 1909 through 1911 he accompanied Bishop Jan Cieplak on his pastoral visitations of Central Russia, Siberia, the Far East and Central Asia. From 1912 he continued his studies at universities in Italy (Rome), Germany and the Holy Land. In 1915 and 1916, on assignment by the bishop, he traveled through the German and Austro-Hungarian prisoner of war camps in Central Russia and Siberia. November 2, 1917 – appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Minsk. July 28, 1918 – his episcopal consecration took place in Warsaw. On August 14 he arrived in Minsk, where he opened minor and major seminaries on October 10. In December 1918, with the arrival of the Red Army in Minsk, Bishop Zygmunt went into hiding in the woods for five months, without abandoning his ministry and the management of the diocese – for which the Bolsheviks placed a large reward for his head. In August 1919, with the arrival of Polish troops, he returned to the city and continued his ministry, speaking out forcefully in his homilies against the imposition of atheism and the annihilation of the cultural legacy. After the return of the Red Army, he refused to sign the declaration acknowledging the Soviet regime – he stated that he would fight with Communism, which brought atheism and immorality – for which he was arrested on August 1, 1920, on charges of “counter-revolution.” Ten days later, under pressure of local Catholics, he was released. September 4, 1920 – arrested again, held in Minsk Prison and then transferred to Moscow and held in Butyrka Prison. He was released eleven months later, thanks to the efforts of the Polish government. On his release he weighed only 95 pounds. He departed for Poland and from 1922 lived in Novogródok [Navahrudak]. He was awarded with State medals. In 1922 he attempted by official means to receive permission to travel to that part of his diocese which now lay within the bounds of Soviet Russia, but in vain. In 1924, when the Bolsheviks attempted to entice priests into the creation in Belorussia of a national Catholic Church independent of Rome, Bishop Zygmunt convinced them not to support this prevocational idea. December 2, 1925 – appointed bishop of the newly created Pinsk Diocese. He taught Biblical Studies, mathematics, and humanities at Pinsk Diocesan Seminary. It was Bishop Zygmunt who suggested to Pope Pius XI that he create an Apostolic Administration in Minsk, independent of the bishop in Poland, in order not to give the Bolsheviks a way to accuse local priests of contacts with Poland. Bishop Zygmunt was also attacked by Polish nationalists for the fact that he – a Polish patriot – had allowed Belorussian in the liturgy. He was a very well educated man; he knew ten languages; being a pastor with a great heart, he constantly worried about the poor, even though he himself through all this lived very modestly. He wrote and published much. Died March 26, 1932, in Pinsk and was buried in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The process of his beatification was initiated in 1957. Source: Dzwonkowski, pp. 332-334
Variant Names:
Łoziński, Zygmunt; Lozinskiĭ, Sigizmund (Zigmunt)
Navahrudak (Belarus); Warsaw (Poland); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Smolensk (Russia); Tula (Russia); Rīga (Latvia); Minsk (Belarus); Rome (Italy); Siberia (Russia); Russian Far East (Russia); Asia, Central; Moscow (Russia); Pinsk (Belarus)
male; clergy and religious; survived