June 11, 2018




A train with remains of Saint Andrzej Bobola arrived at the border station of Zebrzydowice, greeted and celebrated by enormous crowds of the faithful.  The holy religious icon was also brought to Katowice, Krakow, and Poznan and ultimately arrived in Warsaw on June 17. Following three days of veneration, the remains of Saint Bobola were laid to rest at the Jesuit chapel on Rakowiecka Street. Andrzej Bobola was declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX in October 1853, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on April 17, 1938. Pope John Paul II declared Bobola a patron saint of Poland and of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Warsaw. Saint Bobola was a Polish missionary and martyr of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Apostle of Lithuania and the "hunter of souls". On May 16, 1657, he was captured by the Cossacks during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, and subjected to a variety of tortures and murdered.


Britain struck back at Italy.  Mussolini declared war on England and France on June 10, 1940, bombing targets in the British-controlled Suez Canal territory, as well as British-controlled island of Malta. At precisely 5 am on the morning of June 11, ten Italian aircraft bombed the dockyard and Hal Far airfield.  It was followed by another attack in late afternoon, this time by 25 aircraft. By the end of the month, attacks were occurring night and day in varying intensity, the heaviest from 60 bombers, escorted by fighters.  On June 14,  French cruisers from Toulon , accompanied by No. 767 Fleet Air Arm Squadron from Hyeres, bombed military installations at Genoa. Meanwhile French aircraft bombed the oil tanks at Venice. On the 17th the French sunk an Italian submarine in the Western Mediterranean. On the 21st British cruisers and a French battleship bombed military targets at Bardia. It was just the beginning, with many more operations to come.  All available British vessels from Alexandria to Malta were dispatched. Of the four British submarines operating near Malta,  the Grampus, Odin and Orpheus failed to return. They had been sunk by Italian anti-submarine vessels.  Allied reaction to the declaration of war was swift. The British immediately interned all Italians who had lived in Britain less than 20 years, and who were between the ages of 16 and 70.  In the U.S. President Roosevelt  broadcast on radio his promise to supply Britain and France with “the material resources of this nation.”


Operation Corkscrew:  It was the code name for the Allied invasion of the Italian island of Pantelleria, (between Sicily and Tunisia) which was launched prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily.  The Allies had planned Operation Workshop in 1940 to invade the island, but had to cancel it as the German strongholds were impervious to attack at the time.  The bombing started in late May and by June the allies had dropped 14,203 bombs amounting to 4,119 tons, destroying 16 Italian batteries.   By June 8, the British Royal Navy task force dispatched five cruisers, eight destroyers and three torpedo boats on a bombing raid of the main port.  The intense ten-day air bombardment succeeded in drastically reducing enemy defences. Out of a total of 80 guns bombed, 43 were damaged as well as communications, ammunition stores and air-raid shelters. Italian garrisons on nearby islands (Lampedusa and Linosa) quickly fell. This opened the way for the invasion of Sicily a month later.

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