Former dissident and spokesman for Charter 77, evangelical clergyman Miloš Rejchrt at a mass in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the death of priest Josef Toufar, February 26, 2023 Číhošť, Havlíčkobrodsko. Father Josef Toufar died as a result of torture by the communist State Security on February 25, 1950.
Číhošť (Havlíčkobrod Region) – In Číhošt in Havlíčkobrod Region, today people commemorated 73 years since the death of priest Josef Toufar (1902 to 1950), who died as a result of torture by members of the communist State Security (StB). They tried to force him to confess that he staged the movement of the cross in the Čihošť church. Mass at this Church of the Assumption began an hour before noon, followed by a gathering at the inn. The guest was evangelical clergyman Miloš Rejchrt, a dissident and spokesman for Charter 77.
Photo gallery: Číhošť miracle
“Číhošť has become a spontaneous place of pilgrimage, where thousands of people go every year,” Tomáš Petráček, postulator of the beatification process of Josef Toufar, told ČTK. According to him, through Toufar's story, people also try to understand what happened in the 1950s. “Miloš Doležal and I have attended dozens of meetings, dozens of lectures, when we are invited to various parishes or to secondary schools,” he said. The writer and columnist Miloš Doležal mapped the events in Číhošť and Toufar's life.
The Czech Bishops' Conference agreed to start the process of beatification of Josef Toufar ten years ago. In reality, this process was started in November 2018. “There were two years of covid,” Petráček pointed out. He added that in the current preparatory phase of the diocesan process, historical sources are being collected, including Toufar's texts and records of witness statements. “Because witnesses from the time of Josef Toufar are still alive and it is necessary to listen to their testimony,” he said. In case of a positive result of the diocesan phase, the documents will be sent to Rome.
Josef Toufar was born on July 14, 1902 in Arnolci near Polná. He was dragged away from the rectory in Číhošt by the StB because of the so-called Čihošt miracle, during which the cross on the altar in the church allegedly moved in December 1949. After brutal interrogations, the priest died on February 25, 1950. The circumstances of the event in the Čihošť church were never fully clarified.