Biography of blessed Alojzij Grozde, layman
(27 May 1923 – 1 January 1943)


Alojzij Grozde was born on 27 May 1923 in Zgornje Vodale near Mokronog, Slovenia. He was born out of wedlock. After the marriage of his mother at the age of four his aunt took over the care of him and sent him to study at the classical gymnasium in Ljubljana where he excelled as a pupil. He was member of the Catholic Action and of the Marian Congregation. The final years of his gymnasial studies coincided with the oncoming WWII and civil war, which both threw the Slovenian society into deep turmoil.

During the summer holidays of 1942 Grozde was unable to return home due to raging violence in his birth region Dolenjska. He opted for a visit only for new year's day 1943 and asked for a travel permit. On 1 January 1943 he attended the first Friday mass at the Cistercian monastery of Stična, and then took a train from Ivančna Gorica to Trebnje where he had to get off because of the interruption of railroad tracks. He made the decision to continue on foot to the village Mirna. At the village entrance he was stopped and interrogated by a partisan sentinel. He was found in possession of a Latin mass booklet, Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis and a book on the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima. He was taken to a nearby tavern, interrogated, tortured and killed as a prospective young catholic and representative of a religion and mentality, hated by communist activists. Only a few hours before Grozde's arrest, a catholic seminarian was shot and killed in the village for the same reason.

On 23 February 1943 a group of children on a spring flower picking hike discovered Grozde's body in the woods near the village of Mirna. The body presented clear signs of horrible torture, but was not decomposed. Grozde's body was taken to the nearby village Šentrupert where a commission made a report on grim finding. Grozde was then buried on the local cemetery

On 50th anniversary of Alojzij Grozde's death the Archdiocese of Ljubljana started the process of recognition of his martyrdom with previous assent of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI. promulgated the decree of his martyrdom on 27 March 2010. His beatification took place on 13 June 2010 at the slovenian eucharistic congress.