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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Irena Sendler, R.I.P.

Polish Catholic Saved Thousands of Jews

Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic who helped save thousands from the Nazis, died [May 12, 2008]at the age of 98.

Between 1940 and 1943, Sendler and other members of an underground organization smuggled Jewish children—from infants through teens—out of the Warsaw Ghetto. Sendler worked to give these kids a chance at survival by passing them off as Catholics. She kept detailed records so they could one day be reunited with their families. Despite enduring arrest and torture at the hands of the Nazis, Sendler never revealed the location of these records.

In 1965, she was honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial for her life-saving efforts. Her story was recently made into a play by Kansas high school students impressed by her selfless service to others, and she received official honors from her native Poland just last year.

Despite these accolades, Sendler never considered herself a heroine, and said, “We who were rescuing children are not some kind of heroes. Indeed, that term irritates me greatly. The opposite is true—I continue to have qualms of conscience that I did so little.”

It is unfortunate that Sendler’s faith is not mentioned in the otherwise fitting tributes to her life that were released today from the Associated Press and Agence France Press. It is all too common for news stories to make note of a subject’s Catholic faith if the subject of the article is cast in a bad light. Furthermore, the Catholic Church is often unfairly and inaccurately maligned for not doing more to help Jews during the Holocaust. It would have been appropriate for these two major news outlets to recognize the Catholic faith that one brave Polish woman held so dear.

Lifted from the Catholic League Website.


I heard about Irena from one of my old Air Force buddies. Apparently Irena was being considered for a Nobel Prize. She was not picked, but Al Gore was. I am not sure if they were in the running for the same Nobel Prize, seeing as how little value the world puts on human life when compared to the welfare of polar bears.
I post this on the same day that polar bears were added to the 'endangered species' list for the United States.

1 comment:

Jackie Parkes said...

Would you mind updating your link to my new blog..details on old? thanks..prayers still being said for you all..

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Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
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