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CSsR Martyr Bl Methodius Dominic Trcka...

The unveling of a memorial of a

Redemmptorist Martyr, Blessed Dominic Methodius Trcka CSsR

took place at the prison in Ilava, Slovakia. Trcka was imprisoned there for 12yrs.

bl methodius dominic trcka cssr unveiling

Dominic Trcka was born in what is today the Czech Republic on 6 July 1886. He entered the Redemptorists in 1902, was professed in 1904, and ordained in Prague on 17 July 1910.

From the start of his priesthood he took part in the usual Redemptorist apostolate of preaching popular missions and novenas. During the First World War, he took care of Croatian, Slovene and Ruthenian refugees at Svata Hora, the Czech national shrine of Our Lady which had been entrusted to the Redemptorists.

Although by birth and upbringing he belonged to the Roman Rite, Dominic felt that the Catholics of the Greek Rite were in greater need of priests. In 1919 in response to his request to work with them, he was sent to Lviv in the Ukraine. He needed, not just to learn a new way of celebrating Mass, but he also had to learn a new language and culture.

He was greatly assisted by one of his Redemptorist confreres, Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky C.Ss.R., Bishop and Martyr.

Later in life, both of them would meet the same fate as martyrs and eventually be beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Fr Dominic at this time adopted a new name, Methodius, in honour of one of the first missionaries to the Slavic peoples.

In December 1921 he was sent to Stropkov, in Eastern Slovakia, where he founded a Redemptorist community with members belonging to both the Latin and Byzantine rites.

During the Second World War, the Slovak State suspected the Redemptorists of anti-State propaganda because of their pastoral work with Ruthenians in a Slovak nationalist situation. Since Fr Methodius was the chief suspect as superior of the house, he resigned his post as superior in order to save the other members of the community. When the Redemptorists established the Greek-Catholic Vice-Province of Michalovce, Fr Methodius was appointed the first Vice-Provincial on 23 March 1946. He encouraged the Redemptorists' return to Stropkov where they worked until the Communists came to power in post-war Czechoslovakia.

On April 13, 1950, all the Redemptorist communities were declared suppressed and the members taken to prison camps. Two years later, Methodius was charged with espionage and high treason. The evidence was that he had circulated copies of the pastoral letter of the bishop and sent reports of the Redemptorist communities to the Roman superior general. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

After a summary show trial, he was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment, during which he was subjected to lengthy interrogations and torture. In 1958 he was transferred to the prison of Leopoldov. The following Christmas he was caught singing a carol and sent to the "correction cell" where he contracted pneumonia.

Another prisoner, a doctor, recommended that he be admitted to hospital: all he got for his efforts was Methodius’s transfer to solitary confinement. Finally, he died in his own cell on 23 March 1959, after forgiving his persecutors. He was buried in the prison cemetery, but after the liberation of the Greek Catholic Church, his remains were transferred on October 17, 1969, to the Redemptorist plot in the cemetery of Michalovce.

Pope St. John Paul II proclaimed him Blessed on November 4, 2001.

Blessed Martyr Methodius Trcka CSsR - Pray for us!