- Joseph Kowalski
- prisoner 17350
Educated at the local state elementary school, and the Salesian school in Auschwitz, Poland. Member of the Holy Brigade, an unofficial group dedicated to the spiritual life of the school. Joseph joined the Salesians in 1927. Ordained in 1938. Personal secretary of the Salesian provincial. Noted for his youth ministry, conducting conferences, teaching, hearing confessions, and forming a youth choir. Arrested with eleven other Salesians at the church of Mary Help of Christians in Krakow, Poland by the Nazis on 23 May 1941 for providing such non-approved youth programs.
In June 1942 he was scheduled for shipment to Dachau concentration camp, but a Nazi officer who didn’t like his attitude beat him and ordered him to stomp on his rosary; Joseph refused and was assigned to a hard labour gang. In his remaining months he spent non-work time ministering to other prisoners. Beaten, tortured, and drowned by camp guards for no particular reason. One of the 108 Polish Martyrs of World War II.
Do not worry about me; I am in God’s hands. I want to assure you that I feel His help at every step. Despite the present situation, I am happy and completely at peace. - Blessed Joseph, writing to his parents from the concentration camp
At every step I feel the power of God. Wherever I am, whatever happens to me I am in the hands of Divine Providence which watches over nations and over every individual! - Blessed Joseph, writing to his parents from the concentration camp
- “Blessed Jozef Kowalski“. Saints.SQPN.com. 1 November 2014. Web. 28 January 2015. <>