Biography of Father Piotr Zieliński

Born in 1863 in Trelese, Chaussy district, Mogiliev province. Graduated from gymnasium in Mogiliev and from the Archdiocesan Seminary and Catholic Theological Academy in St. Petersburg with a master’s degree in theology. Ordained in 1891. From 1894 he was administrator of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Mogiliev and religion teacher in the girls’ gymnasium; from 1904 he was the dean of Mogiliev; from 1912, administrator of the parish and dean in Nesvizh, outside Minsk; from 1916 he was pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church and the dean of Moscow. On March 23, 1923, he was arrested in Moscow in a case against Catholic clergy (Cieplak et al.). He was held in a Moscow prison along with priests from Petrograd. March 21-26, 1923 – at an open [“show”] trial, he was sentenced to three years’ exile (the evidence against him was a congratulatory telegram on the occasion of the opening and dedication of the Polish consulate in Moscow, which had been signed by him and others) [Revolutionary Tribunal]. June 10, 1923 – released from custody thanks to an ultimatum of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. March 6, 1924 – arrested again in Moscow. Sentenced under Articles 58-3 and 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to five years’ exile. From 1924 he was in Cherdyn, Perm oblast, where he served in the local parish. In 1926 he refused an opportunity to be released to Poland on a prisoner exchange, remaining instead to serve in the USSR. In 1927 he was released from exile, restricted from residing in the six major cities and the border regions for a period of three years. He settled in Tver, where he was arrested again in 1927 and banished to the Northern Territory for three years. At first he was in Ust-Sysolsk [Syktyvkar], but then on January 15, 1930, he was transferred to Krasnokokshaisk, Komi ASSR. Released June 30, 1930, restricted from residing in the six major cities and the border regions for a period of three years. Settled in Ufa, where he was arrested again in November 1930. June 5, 1931 – sentenced under Article 58-6 to three years’ exile to the Northern Territory [OGPU Collegium]. As of March 1931 he was in exile in Ust-Kulom, Komi ASSR, where he died in a hospital on October 18, 1931, from typhus at age sixty-eight. Sources: Archive of the Directorate, FSB, Komi Republic; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 1911; GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 227, l. 27-28; d. 228, l. 114-119; d. 406, l. 20; d. 1911, l. 3-4, 8; Osipova (1996), pp. 169-170; Tragediia naroda: Kniga pamiati zhertv politicheskikh repressii Respubliki Marii El, vol. 1, p. 184; Dzwonkowski, pp. 529-530; Madała, pp. 176-177
Variant Names:
Zieliński, Piotr; Zelinskiĭ, Petr Petrovich
Mahili︠o︡ŭ (Belarus); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Ni︠a︡sviz︠h︡ (Belarus); Moscow (Russia); Cherdynʹ (Russia); Tverʹ (Russia); Severnyĭ kraĭ (R.S.F.S.R.); Ufa (Russia); Ustʹ-Kulomskiĭ raĭon (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; died in prison