Josef Toufar at the pulpit in the church in Číhošť shortly before his death. The image comes from the propaganda film “Woe to him through whom outrage comes”. Toufar was already in prison at the time. The film was shot in 1950 under the supervision of the StB by director Přemysl Freiman.

A monument to Josef Toufar in front of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Číhošť, the author of which is the sculptor Roman Podrázský from Přibyslav. The ceremonial unveiling of the memorial took place on 22 September 1990 with the participation of Bishop ThDr. Karel Otčenášek from Hradec Králové and the abbot of the Želiv monastery Vít Tajovský.

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Číhošť

Testimony of Cpt. Václav Němec, one of the members of the StB squad, who took part in the abduction of Fr. Josef Toufar, 29 December 1962.

Josef Toufar
(1902-1950)

Josef Toufar (14 July 1902 Arnolec – 25 February 1950 Prague)

He was born into the family of an innkeeper and a peasant in the village of Arnolec in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands as the fourth of five children. His mother died at the age of thirty-three, and his father remarried. Joseph spent a normal childhood in the countryside, only differing from other children in that he liked to roleplay as a priest. He graduated from primary school in 1916, then worked on the family farm, with the exception of military service. After his father's death in 1927, he decided to take a spiritual path. After graduating from high school, he studied at the seminary in Hradec Králové, where he was ordained on 29 June 1940. Until 1948 he worked as a chaplain in Zahrádka near Ledče nad Sázavou. He was very popular and several local students opted for priesthood service under his influence, including the later rector of the Nepomucenum College in Rome, Karel Vrána. After the Communist coup Toufar was transferred to nearby Číhošť. A miracle happened in the local church on 11 December 1949, when a cross on the altar wavered during Toufar's sermon. Believers began to come to the place to see the place of the miracle. On 28 January 1950, Toufar was abducted by secret police State Security (StB) and taken to Valdice Prison, where he was brutally interrogated. The Communists wanted to use the events in Číhošť against the Catholic Church. Toufar was brought to Číhošť and forced to star in a forthcoming propaganda film. On 25 February 1950, his condition worsened and he was brought from prison to Prague, where he died during the operation. He was secretly buried under a false name in a mass grave in the Ďáblický cemetery. In 2013, the church began the process of his beatification. In July 2015, his remains were exhumed and buried in the church in Číhošť at the initiative of the writer Miloš Doležal.