The Vatican beatified a Polish family of nine — a married couple and their small children — who were executed by the Nazis during World War II for sheltering Jews.
Pope Francis pronounced the deeply Catholic Ulma family, including the child that Wiktoria Ulma was pregnant with, martyrs for the faith, paving the way for the beatification Mass that is taking place in their home village of Markowa, in southeastern Poland.
The Ulmas were killed at home by German Nazi troops and by Nazi-controlled local police in the small hours of March 24, 1944, together with the eight Jews they were hiding at home, after they were apparently betrayed.
Jozef Ulma, 44, was a farmer, Catholic activist and amateur photographer who documented family and village life. He lived with his 31-year-old wife Wiktoria; their daughters Stanislawa, 7; Barbara, 6; Maria, 18 months; and sons Wladyslaw, 5; Franciszek, 3; and Antoni, 2.
With them were killed 70-year-old Saul Goldman with his sons Baruch, Mechel, Joachim and Mojzesz, along with Golda Grunfeld and her sister Lea Didner with her little daughter Reszla.