Blessed Karol Stepien

Blessed Karol StepienAlso known as

  • Brother Herman
  • Father Herman



Born to Józef and Marianna Puch, poor working class farmers, Karol as a child was considered extremely intelligent and extremely unruly. He early felt a call to the priesthood, and at age 13 began studying at the Franciscan seminary in Lviv (in modern Ukraine). He joined the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual in 1928 at Lodz-Lagiewniki, Poland, taking the name Herman and making his solemn profession in 1932. Brother Herman continued his studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Bonaventure in Rome, Italy, and was ordained a priest in Rome on 5 July 1936. Father Herman continued his studies at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv, earning a Master’s degree in Theology. Served as priest in Franciscan Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows in Radomsko, Poland, then the church and Franciscan monastery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 1940 he was assigned to Piaršai (in modern Belarus), assisting Blessed Józef Puchala. The two worked to care first for the people who were being transported to Siberian work camps by the Russians, and then to concentration camps by Germans. Tortured, mutilated and then murdered while ministering to people who were to be murdered in retaliation for partisan attacks against the Nazi occupiers. Martyr.



  • shot in the head on 19 July 1943 in a barn outside Borovikovshchina (Borowikowszczyzna), Minskaya voblasts’, Belarus
  • the barn was then set on fire
  • remains later retrieved by local Catholics and buried in the parish church in Pierszaje, Poland



Additional Information


Where there are sheep, there must also be a shepherd. Pastors cannot leave the believers! Blessed Karol when the Nazis invaded his region of Poland

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Karol Stepien“. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 March 2020. Web. 23 June 2021. <>