|Czechoslovakian priest Father Josef Toufar was tortured and beaten to
death for refusing to deny a miracle witnessed by his parishioners.
During Communist rule of Czechoslovakia, Father Josef Toufar was tortured and beaten to death for refusing to deny a miracle that many of his parishioners witnessed. Now, Catholics in the region are calling for him to be recognized as a martyr.
In 1949, parishioners told Father Toufar that they saw a cross on the altar of their church moving from side to side on its own, and it became known as the Cihost Miracle.
When police heard about it, they demanded that Father Toufar testify that he moved the cross himself. When he refused, the police brutally beat him, and he died two months later.
After his death, the government attempted to eliminate all religion from the country, but the story of the Cihost Miracle has survived.
This February marked the 65th anniversary of Toufar’s death; more than 500 people attended mass in his honor. The possible canonization of Toufar is under preliminary review.
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