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Janina Jandulska was killed in the Soviet Union for praying the rosary

Janina Jandulska

Janina Jandulska was a 30-year-old Ukrainian disabled woman, who led a Rosary prayer group. In 1937 she was arrested and accused of leading an underground political organisation opposed to the Soviet government. She was murdered while still in police custody.


The ‘National Catholic Register’ ran a story about this Ukrainian Catholic woman, whose country became part of the USSR after the Bolshevik revolution, in 1917.

At that time, the dictator Joseph Stalin and the communist authorities wanted to reunite the old Russian Empire. Once their power was assured and growing, they began to persecute the Christians in the Empire.

In 1937, Janina Jandulska was living in Ukraine, in the village of Wierzboviec with her mother. Like other people in the village, she joined a prayer group, called “Living Rosary.” These sort of groups became popular after the establishment of the Soviet Union. As the government had closed the seminaries and arrested the priests, Christians had to find other ways of meeting. The prayer services were led by lay people who besides leading the devotions also taught the catechism to young people.  

After a short time, Janina began hosting the meetings of the “Living Rosary” prayer group in her own house.  A communist official was informed about the meetings and alerted the authorities.

The police arrived at the girl’s house and arrested her.

Later, she had the following conversation with the state prosecutor:

-“Are you the organiser of the Rosary?”

-“Yes, I am the leader of the Living Rosary. But it is not an organisation. We are just praying to God.”

– “How many people are there?”

– “Fifteen.”

– “Fifteen! And you say it is not an organisation. Who recruited you and who sent you the books?”

The prosecutor would not accept Janina’s explanation when this simple disabled girl said that they just gathered to pray. His cross examination continued as follows:

-“But God does not exist.”

-“For you, God does not exist. But for us, he exists.”

He looked at the poor woman in front of him and continued:

-“Now you are here, so who will replace you?”

-“Someone who believes in God,” answered Janina.

Sometime later, the mother of Janina was informed about her daughter’s death. The cause of her death was falsely stated to be caused by a “liver infection”. Later, it was revealed that she died from a bullet fired into her head.

Source, photo: Acidigital

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