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Father Gregor Pawlowski, Jewish Holocaust survivor and Catholic priest, laid to rest in Poland

Father Gregor Pawlowski died in Israel Oct. 21 at the age of 90, but he wanted his body to be buried in Poland alongside his Jewish family and other victims of the Holocaust.

“Fr. Pawlowski lived in Jaffa for more than 50 years, serving the faithful ang giving the testimony of love for the Messiah,” said the website of the Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel.

“We will miss you, Gregor,” said the vicariate, an autonomous department within the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem that serves Hebrew-speaking children of migrants and asylum seekers.

The priest had a Requiem Mass. But among the priest’s wishes were that he have a Jewish burial at the mass grave in Poland that holds his mother, his two sisters, and hundreds of his neighbors from their home village.

He had long wanted to be buried there. He had set up a memorial in their name in the 1970s before moving to Israel.

The memorial bears an inscription in Polish and Hebrew from the Book of Job: “For I know that my redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth.” It commemorates Pawlowski’s parents, his sisters, and “all of the Jews murdered and buried in this cemetery by the Nazi murderers and profaners of God’s commandments.”

“With gratitude to God for being saved, we establish this monument,” it was signed. It bears the name of Pawlowski’s brother, the priest’s baptismal name, and his birth name.

Rabbi Shalom Malul, dean of the Amit Ashdod Yeshiva, and several students flew to Poland to give the priest a Jewish burial next to the grave of his sisters and mother. They recited Kaddish, the traditional prayer of morning, as the priest had wished, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Pawlowski was born Jacob Zvi Griner to a Yiddish-speaking Jewish family in Poland on Aug. 23, 1931. He was the youngest of four siblings born to Mendel and Miriam. They lived in Zamosc in what is now eastern Poland, according to a biography of the priest on the website of the St. James Vicariate.

Read more at Catholic Herald

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