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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2017
Republished for a new century and featuring an afterword by Father James Martin, SJ, the classic memoir of an American-born Jesuit priest imprisoned for fifteen years in a Soviet gulag during the height of the Cold War—a poignant and spiritually uplifting story of extraordinary faith and fortitude as indelible as Unbroken. Foreword by Daniel L. Flaherty.
While ministering in Eastern Europe during World War II, Polish-American priest Walter Ciszek, S.J., was arrested by the NKVD, the Russian secret police, shortly after the war ended. Accused of being an American spy and charged with "agitation with intent to subvert," he was held in Moscow’s notorious Lubyanka prison for five years. The Catholic priest was then sentenced without trial to ten more years of hard labor and transported to Siberia, where he would become a prisoner within the forced labor camp system made famous in Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Prize—winning book The Gulag Archipelago.
In With God in Russia, Ciszek reflects on his daily life as a prisoner, the labor he endured while working in the mines and on construction gangs, his unwavering faith in God, and his firm devotion to his vows and vocation. Enduring brutal conditions, Ciszek risked his life to offer spiritual guidance to fellow prisoners who could easily have exposed him for their own gains. He chronicles these experiences with grace, humility, and candor, from his secret work leading mass and hearing confessions within the prison grounds, to his participation in a major gulag uprising, to his own "resurrection"—his eventual release in a prisoner exchange in October 1963 which astonished all who had feared he was dead.
Powerful and inspirational, With God in Russia captures the heroic patience, endurance, and religious conviction of a man whose life embodied the Christian ideals that sustained him.
Walter J. Ciszek, SJ (1904–1984), a native of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, was an American Jesuit missionary priest who spent twenty-three years in the Soviet Union before and during the Cold War.
Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communication, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints, which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2006. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared on all the major networks, and in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, NPR's Fresh Air, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.
“. . . a human and historical document of compelling interest.”
“. . . the great story of spirit and courage, written by the Catholic priest who literally disappeared after being taken prisoner in Russia.”
“His integrity and his religious faith light up his sturdy account of what he endured and his report on what he saw, an American prisoner’s view of the Soviet Union.”
“. . . at once an unusually penetrating picture of Siberian life and also an ennobling insight into a simple and unpretentious man who would never admit to being one of God’s heroes.”
“. . . holds the reader in a grip of suspense that the late Ian Fleming would have envied.”
“More than a superbly interesting adventure story, With God in Russia is a moving document of a man’s faith in his God and his God’s goodness in allowing him to live through his ordeal.”
“. . . an incisive portrayal of the struggle for existence in a Russian prison camp. The very simplicity of presentation makes it unforgettable.”
“A truly inspiring story, to our age what Dostoevsky’s ‘House of the Dead’ was to his.”
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