He was born July 13, 1842 in Pruchnik, in the Diocese of Przemysl, the territory of Galicia, under Austrian rule - the most neglected corner of Central Europe. He came from a large middle-class family. At home he received religious training, but his faith wavered in his youth, during high school. Thanks to prayer and good lecture, he overcame the crisis and regained a strong and lively faith which would remain for the rest of his life. This crisis only strengthened him and allowed him to better understand the value of faith. Henceforth, faith compelled him to a heroic l
ove of God and neighbor.
After high school he joined the seminary in Przemysl (1863). He was then ordained a priest (1867), and he worked in many parishes as vicar and pastor, earnestly caring about the development of the faith of the faithful for their sanctification. He further studied in Krakow and Lviv (1873-1875). He was a professor and prefect in the Przemysl seminary. He became acquainted with the problems of the Galician population and was particularly sensitive towards the religious, moral, and material negligence of children and youth and to the misery of simple people (such as the plague of alcoholism). He spoke strongly against the national vices of the Polish nation. He saw and lamented for the young rural generation whose education was being neglected. He desired to join a religious order which would bring a solution to the social problems. That solution depended upon the proper education of young people and on changing the moral climate of the whole society. Fr Markiewicz eventually heard of and became a follower of Saint John Bosco (of Turin) and his role in educating young minds. And so, after 18 years of working as a priest in Poland, he went to Italy (1885), to Turin, and he joined the Salesians of Don Bosco. In 1887, he professed religious vows. He personally got to know Fr. John Bosco and his educational system, based on the preventive system and principles of the Christian faith contained in the slogan "temperance and work." He decided to bring these ideas onto Polish land, because he saw in them a chance to heal the spiritual, moral and economic Galician society.
In 1892, as the first Salesian, he returned to Poland and was put in charge of a poor parish in the Carpathian ‘Miejsce Piastowe.’ There he organized a widespread educational system, which not only included academics but also dealt with the spiritual and physical growth of the children, in the houses established by him. Due to the extremely bad economic situation of the country, he could not keep the Italian model alive in the Polish conditions, and the Italian superiors did not agree with his modifications. Moreover, in 1897, directives of a Salesian inspector from Turin threatened the elimination of the developing educational institute. In order to save it, he decided to establish a new religious congregation, and to initiate it he introduced a secular society by the name of "Temperance and Work" (1898). In the same year he founded the monthly journal of the same name, as a forum of the society, to spread their ideas and social education on a broad scale. The Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel was formed, but with great difficulty. He petitioned the Bishop of Przemy?l and the Pope to allow him to found the Congregation, and in spite of intensive efforts on his part, Father Markiewicz did not live to witness its approval and died on 29th January 1912. On 29th September 1921, Adam Stefan Sapieha, Bishop of Krakow, issued the Erecting Decree of the Congregation, and in 1928, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel (Michaelite Sisters) was also approved.
Fr. Bronislaw Markiewicz was a prophet and a man of great faith. He believed that his religious congregation would receive approval of the Church, and would grow and give a great service to the Church in Poland and to the world. He urged his spiritual sons to only selfless work for "the little ones" and to obey ecclesiastical authority. His whole life and work was imbued with faith – "faith which operates out of love" (Ga 5, 6).
He was beatified in Warsaw on June 19, 2005.