Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski

1913-1945 | Patron of Polish Scouts | Scout – Priest – Martyr
Blessed Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski was born in Chełmża, Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship (Northern Poland) where he joined scouting organization. Frelichowski was a priest in Torun where nowadays his sanctuary is located. The Patron died in Dachau Concentration Camp during the Second World War. He was beatified in 1999.
What could be said about our friend Wicek? For sure that his name is a synonym for love, comfort and enormous courage. Born in Chełmża, Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski was incredibly devoted to God. As a child, he was an altar boy, later continuing his education in Gimnazjum Humanistyczne. After graduation, he joined Major Seminary in Pelplin. At the beginning of his priesthood, Frelichowski was a chaplain and clerk of the Bishop of Chelmno. Later, Wicek served as a vicar in the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in Torun – it is where the modern sanctuary is situated.
Frelichowski found his place in the world also in scouting – that is what he loved the most. In 1928, he joined the Second Pomeranian Scout Troop of Zawisza Czarny in Chełmża where he took the Scout and Guide Promise. Having an incredible impact on the youth, Wicek was a scoutmaster, scout leader and the Chaplain of Polish Scouting Association. Nowadays, he is considered to be the patron of all Polish scouts.
His life was for sure not the one that he deserved for. Due to the situation during the Second World War, he was arrested and imprisoned in three concentration camps; in Stutthof, Sachsenhausen and Dachau. In Dachau, Frelichowski supported the ones suffering from typhus. He managed to involve also other 37 priests. Unfortunately, his brave actions led to getting infected. As for his unprecedented actions, despite the restrictions, his body was showed to other prisoners in decorated coffin before cremation.

Everything mentioned is only a part of Frelichowski’s achievements. Our patron is a role model for Polish Scouts and many want to follow his path.

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