Father Zygmunt Trószyński
2 October 2021
Zygmunt Trószyński was born on December 4th, 1886, at 9 Leszno Street in Warsaw, to Mikołaj Trószyński, Mayor of Młociny, and his third wife, Maria, née Richter. He had twelve siblings. His older brother Kazimierz Trószyński (a veterinary surgeon) and older sister Maria Trószyńska took over the care of the not quite 7-months-old Zygmunt after the death of his mother. He was baptised at the St. Karol Boromeusz’s Church at 9 Chłodna Street. Initially, Zygmunt Trószyński was educated at home and later attended a middle school. In 1903, when he was 17, his father died. On June 18th, 1907, Trószyński graduated at the seven-grade Wróblewski’s Realschule of the Warsaw Merchants’ Association [Polish: Realne Zrzeszenia Kupców Warszawskich Wróblewskiego] at 30 Złota Street (nowadays: the Tadeusz Czacki High School). After receiving his high school diploma Trószyński began studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the Jagiellonian University, but only a year later he moved to the University in Fribourg, Switzerland, where he studied at the Faculty of Theology. It was there that the future priest discovered his vocation. He returned to Warsaw immediately after the death of his older brother, who had financed his stay abroad. On his return, he entered the Higher Metropolitan Seminary in Warsaw. He was ordained a priest on July 6th, 1913, by Bishop Kazimierz Ruszkiewicz in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw, and was then sent to work as a vicar in Wiskitki near Żyrardów. In February 1915, during the First World War, there was battle over Wola Szydłowiecka, during which Father Trószyński cared for the wounded. During this time, he fell ill with pneumonia, which developed into the beginnings of tuberculosis. His treatment lasted several months, first in Warsaw, at the Workers’ and Craftsmen’s Shelter of the Warsaw Charitable Society [Polish: Przytułek dla Rzemieślników I Robotników Warszawskiego Toarzystwa Dobroczynności], at 29/31 Młynarska Street, and then in Otwock. In 1915, Father Trószyński entered the Marian novitiate in Bielany. On November 13th, 1916, he took his first vows before Father Jerzy Matulewicz, the Marian General, and three years later he took his perpetual vows. Beginning in 1919, he resided at the Marian House in Bielany, serving as a councillor and, at the same time, as the vicar of the parish of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A year later, with the outbreak of the Polish-Soviet War, Father Trószczyński served as chaplain on sanitary trains at the Warszawa Gdańska Station. In 1924, he was sent to the United States, but two years later returned to Warsaw to take up pastoral office in Bielany. In May 1929, he received the Commemorative Medal for the War of 1918-1921 [Polish: Medal Pamiątkowy za wojnę 1918-1921] for serving as a military chaplain.
In the interwar period, Father Trószyński opened an eating house, kindergartens and shelters in Marymont, and also established the local Caritas. With the outbreak of Second World War, Father Trószczyński became chaplain to the 1st Battalion of the 40th Infantry Regiment in Bielany. After the capitulation of Warsaw, he opened a shelter for recovering soldiers in Lipowa Street in Bielany. He also created the secret organization “Help for Soldiers” [Polish: Pomoc Żołnierzowi], whose members sent parcels to partisans and prisoners of war. During the occupation, he issued baptismal certificates to Jewish children, hid them with nuns and in the vicarage. From 1940, he belonged to the Union for Armed Struggle. He chose the Arabic fortress Alkazar as his conspiratorial alias.
On August 1st, 1944, at 11 a.m., Father Trószyński appeared at a briefing for chaplains called by Father Stefan Kowalczyk, alias Biblia, at which only a dozen or so chaplains were present. Then that Father Trószyński learned about the planned outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. He returned to Marymont, where he hid the parish documents and began his ministry as chaplain of the Sub-district II of Żoliborz [Polish: Obwód Żywiciel]. He carried out the wounded from the battlefield, but also celebrated masses at field altars or – when it was possible – in a church. On September 16th, Marymont was taken by the Germans. On that day, when Father Trószyński was crossing the ditch towards Żoliborz, he was wounded in the cheek. After being treated in hospital, he returned to his priestly ministry and remained in Żoliborz until 30th September ie. the end of the fighting in that district. On October 2nd, after the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, Father Trószyński, left Warsaw together with the civilians and made his way to Laski, and then wandered around the towns near Warsaw. He stayed in Grodzisk Mazowiecki and Milanówek, where he tried to save people from deportation. In October 1944, by order of General Antoni Monter Chruściel he was promoted from the rank of a major to the lieutenant colonel for his merits during the Warsaw Uprising
Father Trószyński returned to Warsaw in January 1945. He was engaged in helping the civilians returning to the capital and in rebuilding the temple in Marymont. In 1947, he founded the General Stefan Grot Rowecki’s dormitory for orphans of the fallen insurgents in the former barracks. On January 18th, 1949, while he was staying at the presbytery at 6A Gdańska Street, he was arrested by the Ministry of Public Security (commonly known as UB) and imprisoned in the Warsaw prison in Mokotów. On January 1st, 1950, the District Court sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment for conspiratorial activity and desire to change the Polish state system, and on April 26th, he was transferred to the prison in Wronki – one of the heaviest political prisons in Poland. In 1951, Father Trószyński’s sister, Jadwiga, appealed to President Bolesław Bierut to pardon her brother. In April, Bierut reduced the punishment to four years in confinement but did not pardon the priest, even though Father Trószyński had twice helped his daughter Krystyna. During the Warsaw Uprising, the priest took care of Krystyna Bierut when she was wounded in the middle of August. Following the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, thanks to documents provided by Father Trószyński, Bierut’s daughter and her mother avoided deportation to Germany from the transit camp in Pruszków.
On January 18th, 1953, after four years in prison, Father Trószyński returned to Warsaw, but only after his rehabilitation in 1956 was he able to return to his priestly ministry as vicar in Marymont (because of his sentence, the authorities did not allow him to take over the presbytery), as well as chaplain to the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus (known as Grey Ursulines). In May 1959, by a resolution of the State Council, he was granted the Partisan Cross. He spent the last year of his life in the House of Retired Priests in Otwock. Father Zygmunt Trószyński, alias Alkazar, died on June 22nd, 1965. Three days later, Bishop Zygmunt Choromański celebrated the chaplain’s funeral mass at Our Lady Queen of Poland Church in Marymont. He was buried in the Wawrzyszewski Cemetery in Warsaw, in the Marian Fathers’ section. In 1993, the General Chapter of the Marian Fathers in Rome passed a document in which it ordered the collection of documents testifying to the holiness of Father Trószyński to initiate a possible beatification process.
Translate: Sandra Liwanowska
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