Alexander Ratiu: Wikis

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Alexander Ratiu
Born Alexander Ratiu
May 4, 1916(1916-05-04)
Scalp Level, Pennsylvania
Died July 25, 2002 (aged 86)
Aurora, Illinois
Resting place Romeoville, Illinois
41°38′26″N 88°6′10″W / 41.64056°N 88.10278°W / 41.64056; -88.10278
Residence Giurtelecu Şimleului,
Aurora, Illinois
Nationality Romanian
Other names Alexandru Raţiu
Ethnicity Romanian
Citizenship the United States,
Romania
Education Doctorate
Alma mater Propaganda Fide,
the Pio Romeno College
Occupation Priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului,
Priest in Plainfield, Illinois,
Philanthropists
Employer Greek Catholic Diocese of Oradea Mare,
Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois
Home town Scalp Level, Pennsylvania
Height 6.2 ft (1.90 m)
Weight 200 pounds (91 kg)
Known for His political detention
Title Priest
Religious beliefs Romanian Greek Catholic
Spouse(s) Never Married - Celibate
Parents Elisabeta (b. Chindriş) and Grigore Raţiu

Alexander Ratiu (Scalp Level, Pennsylvania, May 4, 1916 - Aurora, Illinois, July 25, 2002) was a Romanian Greek-Catholic priest, political prisoner, and author.

He was a priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului, Romania, and Plainfield, Illinois.

Contents

Education

His parents were Elisabeta (b. Chindriş) and Grigore Raţiu. Alexander Raţiu had three brothers: Grigore, Ioan and Mihai. In 1921, his family moved to Romania where he was raised in Moftinu Mic, Sălaj County (now Satu Mare County). In Carei, he attended "Vasile Lucaciu" State High School. Then he studied philosophy at Oradea, where he was a colleague with Coriolan Tămâian. Also, he attended theological university studies at Blaj. Then, at Rome, he attended the Pio Romeno College and Propaganda Fide, where he completed work on a doctorate in theology. He was a classmate for seven years with Virgil Maxim (1923-1997).

Early Assignments

In Rome, on July 20, 1941, he was ordained a priest of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite, by bishop Alexander Evreinov, for the Greek Catholic Diocese of Oradea Mare in Transylvania.

In the 1940s he was a priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului, until May 1947, when became a political detainee. In the 1940s, he opposed the Romanian Communist Party persecution of the Catholic Church, and he refused to renounce his faith.

Political prisoner

"In prison one either goes mad or becomes a saint."

Alexander Raţiu[1]

As a volunteer of the National Peasants' Party, he worked at an electoral section at the Romanian general election, 1946. In May 1947, he was a priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului. Between May 1947 and July 1948 he was arrested for his political activity against the Romanian Communist Party.

In the Summer and the Autumn of 1948, he was for a few months a priest at Greek-Catholic Seminary in Oradea.

He was arrested again on October 19, 1948 by the Communists and imprisoned for sixteen years, eighteen months in solitary confinement in the Sighet prison. Between 1948-1964, Raţiu was imprisoned at Căldăruşani, Sighet prison (May 24, 1950 - July 1955), Gherla (1955-1959), Jilava, Băteşti, and penal colonies Strâmba and Stoieneşti from Great Brăila Island. He was subsequently placed under obligatory domicile for another two years (1962-1964) - in which he was confined in Lăţeşti, Ialomiţa County.

Latest Assignments

Eventually, after his release, the Communist authorities allowed him to leave Romania in 1970. He returned to the United States in 1971 with his brother Grigore family. Raţiu met with Pope John Paul II in Rome and presented the situation of Greek Catholic Church in Romania. He served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois from 1974 until retirement. Ratiu was a priest at St. Mary Immaculate Church, Plainfield, Illinois (1975-1982).

Raţiu became a member of the Cardinal József Mindszenty Foundation in 1977, and for 25 years served on the Board of Directors, participated in the foundation conferences in St. Louis, Kankakee and Chicago and gave many talks. An abridged edition of his book Stolen Church was a Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation Christmas gift to members.

Ratiu was generous in his friendship and financial support for countless persons in Romania seeking to immigrate to the United States. He helped establish a Romanian Greek Catholic Mission of Saints Peter and Paul in Chicago (December 1994), and his aptitudes for languages led him to learn Spanish to celebrate Mass for Mexican migrant workers.

He spoke eight languages fluently.[2]

In 1996, after Communism was faltering in Romania, Raţiu returned for a visit to witness the rebirth of Greek Catholic Church. He preached to large crowds of the faithful as parishes reopened, and attended the consecration of several new bishops for the Byzantine Rite.

Awards

In 1983 the Polish Freedom Fighters bestowed upon Alexander Ratiu the Solidarity Freedom Award.

Death

Alexander Raţiu, 86, of Plainfield, Illinois, died Thursday, July 25, 2002 at his home. On his deathbed Raţiu said, "Spiritual freedom gives us courage, the courage to preach. So I preached freely and defended the faith when the persecution began, and I rejoiced when I was arrested."[2]

His funeral took place at the Romanian Greek Catholic Church "Sf. Gheorghe", Aurora, Illinois, on the morning of July 27, 2002. He was interred in Plainfield, Illinois.

Legacy

Alexander Raţiu remarks that prison had an unexpected effect on priests and other believers, as well as former atheists: "In prison one either goes mad or becomes a saint." For many who suffered imprisonment, it was the first time in their lives that they were forced to rely solely on prayer and God’s support:

We were never so happy. We never felt the presence of God so intimately; and we never prayed more seriously, confidently, and successfully than in those prison barracks.

After Ratiu's harrowing account of the tortures, deaths, and sadistic treatment all prisoners experienced, these are not words to be taken lightly. It was, of course, a terrible path to piety and virtue. His experiences will ultimately have some spiritually stimulating effect.[1]

Works

  • Alexander Ratiu and William Virtue, Stolen Church. Martyrdom in communist Romania (Huntingdon, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1979).
  • Alexandru Raţiu, Biserica Furată (Cluj-Napoca: Ed. Argus, 1990).
  • Alexandru Raţiu, Persecuţia Bisericii Române Unite [The Persecution of the Romanian United Church] (Oradea: Imprimeria de Vest Publishing House, 1994).
  • Alexandru Raţiu, Memoria inchisorii Sighet. Editor Romulus Rusan Buc., Ed.Fund.Acad.Civica, 1999. ISBN 978-973-98437-5-1.

Footnotes

See also

References

  • Who's who in Romanian America: Serban C. Andronescu, Compiler ; American Institute for Writing Research Corp., Editor; By Serban Andronescu, American Institute for Writing Research, American Institute for Writing Research, Published by Andronescu-Wyndill, 1976, 188 pages
  • Robert Royal "The Calvary of Romania." Catholic World Report (March, 2000) - an international news monthly.
  • Radu Ciuceanu - Regimul penitenciar din România 1940-1962, Institutul Naţional pentru Studiul Totalitarismului, Bucureşti, 2001.
  • Max Bănuş - Cei care m-au ucis, Ed. Tinerama, Bucureşti, 1991 (Stoeneşti, Salcia).
  • Al. Mihalcea - Jurnal de ocnă, Ed. Albatros, 1994 (Salcia, Luciu-Giurgeni, Grădina, Stoeneşti).
  • Ion Ioanid - Închisoarea noastră cea de toate zilele, vol. I-V, Ed. Albatros, Bucureşti, 1991-1996 (Salcia, Stoeneşti).
  • Doru Novacovici - În România după gratii, Fundaţia pentru tineret Buzău, f.a. (Luciu-Giurgeni, Grădina, Stoeneşti).
  • Aurel Maxim - Amintiri din temniţele comuniste, Ed. Hermann Sibiu, 1996 (Luciu-Giurgeni, Strâmba).

External links

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Alexander Ratiu
Born Alexander Ratiu
May 4, 1916(1916-05-04)
Scalp Level, Pennsylvania
Died July 25, 2002 (aged 86)
Aurora, Illinois
Resting place Romeoville, Illinois
41°38′26″N 88°6′10″W / 41.64056°N 88.10278°W / 41.64056; -88.10278
Residence Giurtelecu Şimleului,
Aurora, Illinois
Nationality Romanian
Other names Alexandru Raţiu
Ethnicity Romanian
Citizenship the United States,
Romania
Education Doctorate
Alma mater Propaganda Fide,
the Pio Romeno College
Occupation Priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului,
Priest in Plainfield, Illinois,
Philanthropists
Employer Greek Catholic Diocese of Oradea Mare,
Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois
Known for His political detention
Home town Scalp Level, Pennsylvania
Height 6.2 ft (1.90 m)
Weight 200 pounds (91 kg)
Title Priest
Religion Romanian Greek Catholic
Spouse Never Married - Celibate
Parents Elisabeta (b. Chindriş) and Grigore Raţiu

Alexander Ratiu (Scalp Level, Pennsylvania, May 4, 1916 - Aurora, Illinois, July 25, 2002) was a Romanian Greek-Catholic priest, political prisoner, and author.

He was a priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului, Romania, and Plainfield, Illinois.

Contents

Education

His parents were Elisabeta (b. Chindriş) and Grigore Raţiu. Alexander Raţiu had three brothers: Grigore, Ioan and Mihai. In 1921, his family moved to Romania where he was raised in Moftinu Mic, Sălaj County (now Satu Mare County). In Carei, he attended "Vasile Lucaciu" State High School. Then he studied philosophy at Oradea, where he was a colleague with Coriolan Tămâian. Also, he attended theological university studies at Blaj. Then, at Rome, he attended the Pio Romeno College and Propaganda Fide, where he completed work on a doctorate in theology. He was a classmate for seven years with Virgil Maxim (1923-1997).

Early Assignments

In Rome, on July 20, 1941, he was ordained a priest of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite, by bishop Alexander Evreinov, for the Greek Catholic Diocese of Oradea Mare in Transylvania.

In the 1940s he was a priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului, until May 1947, when became a political detainee. In the 1940s, he opposed the Romanian Communist Party persecution of the Catholic Church, and he refused to renounce his faith.

Political prisoner

"In prison one either goes mad or becomes a saint."

Alexander Raţiu[1]

As a volunteer of the National Peasants' Party, he worked at an electoral section at the Romanian general election, 1946. In May 1947, he was a priest in Giurtelecu Şimleului. Between May 1947 and July 1948 he was arrested for his political activity against the Romanian Communist Party.

In the Summer and the Autumn of 1948, he was for a few months a priest at Greek-Catholic Seminary in Oradea.

He was arrested again on October 19, 1948 by the Communists and imprisoned for sixteen years, eighteen months in solitary confinement in the Sighet prison. Between 1948-1964, Raţiu was imprisoned at Căldăruşani, Sighet prison (May 24, 1950 - July 1955), Gherla (1955-1959), Jilava, Băteşti, and penal colonies Strâmba and Stoieneşti from Great Brăila Island. He was subsequently placed under obligatory domicile for another two years (1962-1964) - in which he was confined in Lăţeşti, Ialomiţa County.

Latest Assignments

Eventually, after his release, the Communist authorities allowed him to leave Romania in 1970. He returned to the United States in 1971 with his brother Grigore family. Raţiu met with Pope John Paul II in Rome and presented the situation of Greek Catholic Church in Romania. He served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois from 1974 until retirement. Ratiu was a priest at St. Mary Immaculate Church, Plainfield, Illinois (1975-1982).

Raţiu became a member of the Cardinal József Mindszenty Foundation in 1977, and for 25 years served on the Board of Directors, participated in the foundation conferences in St. Louis, Kankakee and Chicago and gave many talks. An abridged edition of his book Stolen Church was a Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation Christmas gift to members.

Ratiu was generous in his friendship and financial support for countless persons in Romania seeking to immigrate to the United States. He helped establish a Romanian Greek Catholic Mission of Saints Peter and Paul in Chicago (December 1994), and his aptitudes for languages led him to learn Spanish to celebrate Mass for Mexican migrant workers.

He spoke eight languages fluently.[2]

In 1996, after Communism was faltering in Romania, Raţiu returned for a visit to witness the rebirth of Greek Catholic Church. He preached to large crowds of the faithful as parishes reopened, and attended the consecration of several new bishops for the Byzantine Rite.

Awards

In 1983 the Polish Freedom Fighters bestowed upon Alexander Ratiu the Solidarity Freedom Award.

Death

Alexander Raţiu, 86, of Plainfield, Illinois, died Thursday, July 25, 2002 at his home. On his deathbed Raţiu said, "Spiritual freedom gives us courage, the courage to preach. So I preached freely and defended the faith when the persecution began, and I rejoiced when I was arrested."[2]

His funeral took place at the Romanian Greek Catholic Church "Sf. Gheorghe", Aurora, Illinois, on the morning of July 27, 2002. He was interred in Plainfield, Illinois.

Legacy

Alexander Raţiu remarks that prison had an unexpected effect on priests and other believers, as well as former atheists: "In prison one either goes mad or becomes a saint." For many who suffered imprisonment, it was the first time in their lives that they were forced to rely solely on prayer and God’s support:

We were never so happy. We never felt the presence of God so intimately; and we never prayed more seriously, confidently, and successfully than in those prison barracks.

After Ratiu's harrowing account of the tortures, deaths, and sadistic treatment all prisoners experienced, these are not words to be taken lightly. It was, of course, a terrible path to piety and virtue. His experiences will ultimately have some spiritually stimulating effect.[1]

Works

  • Alexander Ratiu and William Virtue, Stolen Church. Martyrdom in communist Romania (Huntingdon, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1979).
  • Alexandru Raţiu, Biserica Furată (Cluj-Napoca: Ed. Argus, 1990).
  • Alexandru Raţiu, Persecuţia Bisericii Române Unite [The Persecution of the Romanian United Church] (Oradea: Imprimeria de Vest Publishing House, 1994).
  • Alexandru Raţiu, Memoria inchisorii Sighet. Editor Romulus Rusan Buc., Ed.Fund.Acad.Civica, 1999. ISBN 978-973-98437-5-1.

Footnotes

See also

References

  • Who's who in Romanian America: Serban C. Andronescu, Compiler ; American Institute for Writing Research Corp., Editor; By Serban Andronescu, American Institute for Writing Research, American Institute for Writing Research, Published by Andronescu-Wyndill, 1976, 188 pages
  • Robert Royal "The Calvary of Romania." Catholic World Report (March, 2000) - an international news monthly.
  • Radu Ciuceanu - Regimul penitenciar din România 1940-1962, Institutul Naţional pentru Studiul Totalitarismului, Bucureşti, 2001.
  • Max Bănuş - Cei care m-au ucis, Ed. Tinerama, Bucureşti, 1991 (Stoeneşti, Salcia).
  • Al. Mihalcea - Jurnal de ocnă, Ed. Albatros, 1994 (Salcia, Luciu-Giurgeni, Grădina, Stoeneşti).
  • Ion Ioanid - Închisoarea noastră cea de toate zilele, vol. I-V, Ed. Albatros, Bucureşti, 1991-1996 (Salcia, Stoeneşti).
  • Doru Novacovici - În România după gratii, Fundaţia pentru tineret Buzău, f.a. (Luciu-Giurgeni, Grădina, Stoeneşti).
  • Aurel Maxim - Amintiri din temniţele comuniste, Ed. Hermann Sibiu, 1996 (Luciu-Giurgeni, Strâmba).

External links


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