Father Leon Nowakowski graduated from the Theological Seminary in Wloclawek, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1937. He continued his theological studies in Lublin and at the Pontifical Gregorian University. At the outbreak of World War II, Father Nowakowski was spending his summer vacation in his native Byton, Poland. After the invading Germans arrested the local Parish Priest, Father Nowakowski took over his duties.
On October 24, 1939, Nowakowski was arrested by the Gestapo on his way to a Rosary devotional exercise and was taken to Piotrkow Kujawski. On the eve of All Saints, 1939, a Nazi platoon gathered all those imprisoned at Piotrkow Kujawski and had them shot. The bodies of the victims were buried in a mass grave outside the city.
(Father Nowakowski, 1913-1939, was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999.)
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