Ks. Jerzy Popiełuszko podczas uroczystości poświęcenia sztandaru Komisji Zakładowej NSZZ Solidarność Huty WarszawaIn May 1978 Jerzy Popiełuszko became a resident of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish Church, in Wilson Square (at the time Paris Commune Square), located near the centre of Żoliborz. Meanwhile, eventful times were approaching (for Fr. Jerzy as well as for Poland). During August of 1980 the Huta Warszawa steelworks went on strike, with the strikers asking to have a Holy Mass celebrated at the premises of the plant. None of the priests, who worked permanently in the Parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka, could go there and support the strikers. Therefore, Fr. Jerzy decided to go and celebrate the Holy Mass where he witnessed staunch religiousness and quickly found a common language with the workers. Fr. Jerzy said the Church, which had been knocking on big factories' doors for several decades, had been finally admitted.
August 1980 saw a breach being made in the Soviet bloc. A legal organization, independent of the regime, came into being, in the second largest (after the USSR) country of the Eastern bloc. In addition, it was an organization of the nominal "owners" of country - the workers. Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarity" was not merely a trade union, but also an organization which gathered people who wanted change for their country. It took the Communist Party 30 years to have 3 million members - a few months were enough for "Solidarity" to gather 10 million. In the aftermath of "Solidarity", many other organizations were formed, e.g. Independent Students' Association (NZS) or the Ksiądz Jerzy Popiełuszko sprawuje Mszę w intencji Jana Pawła II dzień po zamachu na jego życie. Huta Warszawa, 14 maja 1981Independent Self-Governing Trade Union of Individual Farmers "Solidarity" (NSZZ RI).

The Church of St. Stanislaus Kostka became one of the most important meeting places for workers in Warsaw during the formation of "Solidarity". Again, as with the nurses and physicians, Fr. Jerzy started to build a community. He had a great gift for combining pastoral work with broadening people's knowledge about Poland, the world and life. The authorities could not turn a blind eye to this fact. The problem for them was as long as the "solidarity carnival" lasted, they could not openly attack the organization.

Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski put an end to this carnival in December 13, 1981 by introducing martial law. The Military Council of National Salvation (WRON) was established. Apart from a group of generals, martial law was introduced with 70 thousand troops, 30 thousand officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs who had over 1,700 tanks, 1,400 armoured vehicles and 500 infantry vehicles at their disposal. Over eight thousand commissioners entered newly militarized factories and offices. Polish society has been subjected to rigors, without precedent, since World War II: people presumed dangerous for military rule were interned, some of the businesses underwent restructuring to suit military ends, school and university classes were suspended, also the publishing of all the press (except for the party's "Trybuna Ludu" and the military "Żołnierz Wolności").

Piotr Łysakowski