April 17, 2018




Pope Pius XI canonized Andrzej Bobola on this day. Bobola was a Polish missionary and martyr in the 17th century and belonged to the Society of Jesus. He was known as the Apostle of Lithuania and the "Hunter of Souls".   He was captured by the Cossacks during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, and after being tortured, was killed on May 16, 1657.  When his remains were found in Pinsk, in 1701, physicians inspected the body and were astonished to see that the remains were "completely incorrupt" with pliable and soft flesh.


General Johan Laidoner arrived in Warsaw. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Army,  during the Estonian War of Independence. He was among the most influential people in Estonian history between the world wars. After the war Laidoner served as a member of the Riigikogu from 1920 to 1929. He was appointed commander-in-chief during the 1924 Communist coup attempt, and then again from 1934 to 1940, during the authoritarian regime of Konstantin Päts. In June 1940, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia and the other Baltic states.  A year later John Laidoner and his wife Maria were  deported  Penza,  Russia, where they lived in forced exile until the beginning of the war with Germany in June 1941. They were then detained in prisons in Kirov, Ivanovo and Moscow  at "honorary prisoners”, along with Konstantin Päts and several Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish statesmen.  In 1952, the notorious Soviet Ministry of State Security sentenced  Laidoner  to 25 years in prison at Vladimir Prison, where he died on March 13, 1953.  The location of his remains have never been found, but believed to be buried at the prison cemetery.  A memorial plaque was placed there in the 1990s.  His wife Maria, nee Kruszewska (1888–1978), was born of Polish nobility.  She was released from prison a year later, and returned to Estonia. She died in 1978 Viljandi and was buried at Tallinn Inner City Cemetery, next to her son.


Solidarity was legalized and its membership quickly reached 1.5 million. The Solidarity Citizens' Committee (Komitet Obywatelski "Solidarność") was given permission to field candidates in the upcoming elections, and put forward candidates but for only 35% of the seats in the Sejm. There were no restrictions in regard to Senat candidates. Despite these groundbreaking laws, agitation and propaganda still continued unabated right up to election day, but without official reprisals. Despite its shortage of resources, Solidarity managed to carry on an electoral campaign.

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