Walter J. Ciszek was born in Shenandoah, Pa., 11/04/1904, the son of Martin and Mary (Mika) Ciszek. Entering the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), 09/07/1928, he was ordained in the Oriental rite in Rome, 06/24/1937, and was sent to the Jesuit mission in Albyrtyn (also spelt Albertin and Albertyn), eastern Poland, in November 1938. After the Russians overran eastern Poland and closed his mission, he crossed into Russia in 1940 hoping to work as a priest among those deported to lumber camps in the Ural Mountains. Arrested in June 1941 as a 'Vatican spy', he was sent to Moscow's Lubianka prison and subsequently sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor. Transferred to prison camps in Siberia after World War II, he was presumed dead by his family and order and not until 1955 did word reach the United States that he was still alive. In October 1963, he was returned to the U.S. in exchange for two Soviet agents. Upon repatriation, he lectured at the John XXIII Center for Eastern Christian Studies, Fordham University, and wrote two books based on his experiences, 'With God in Russia', McGraw-Hill (1964) and 'He Leadeth Me', Doubleday (1973). Father Ciszek died, 12/08/1984.
He is currently being considered for sainthood.