Father Leon Pawlina
2 October 2021
Leon Pawlina was born in Retki. He was the only child. His parents wanted to educate their son, so they sent him to school in Łowicz. After graduating secondary school, Leon decided to enter the Higher Metropolitan Seminary in Warsaw. On December 19th, 1932, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Antoni Szlagowski. He celebrated his first mass in the parish church in Złakowo. From 1936 he studied at the Catholic University of Lublin, where he wrote a PhD thesis entitled ‘Dymisories in historical development’ [Polish: Dymistoje w rozwoju historycznym].
During the occupation, Father Pawlina was the director of the Pius XI Catholic House ‘Roma’ [nowadays: the Roma Musical Theatre], and the Dean of the Home Army Warsaw District. He collaborated with the chaplain Mieczysław Paszkiewicz, alias Ignacy.
After the Warsaw Uprising, he became parish priest of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church in Tamka Street in Warsaw. He worked on clearing the ruins of the church and began renovating a rectory that had been destroyed during the war. However, he was soon arrested.
After the war, he was involved in the anti-communist underground. He gained and passed to the editorial office of The People’s Newspaper [Polish: Gazeta Ludowa], operating under the Polish People’s Party [Polish: Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL], secret documents concerning the arrests of Polish People’s Party activists, imprisoned priests and Soviet officers within the structures of the Ministry of Public Security [Polish: Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego], commonly known as UB. In October 1946, during a search of the editorial office, evidence incriminating Father Pawlina was found, and he was immediately arrested.
Father Leon Pawlina was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for “gathering and passing on information which, in the interests of the state, should be kept secret”. He left prison in 1953, and three years later he died in a train accident under unexplained circumstances.
Translate: Sandra Liwanowska
- Augustyński skazany na 15 lat, ks. Pawlina na 10, „Dziennik Polski i Dziennik Żołnierza”, 1947, nr 187 (08.08.1947), p. 1, 4
- Historia powstania parafii i budowy kościoła na Powiślu w Warszawie – cz. V, „…u Świętej Tereski”, 2013, nr 5 (05.12.2013), p. 4, 5
- Prymicja, w: „Łowiczanin”, 1932, nr 1 (15.01.1932), p.14
- Wyrok w procesie szpiegowskim, „Głos Ludu”, 1947, nr 215 (07.08.1947), p.1