|He was born on 24 March 1921 in Rybnik, Poland in a large family. His secondary school years were spent in Tarnowskie Góry, where he matriculated in 1938. Whilst there he was very active in the scouting movement.
At the beginning of the Second World War, he took part in the September Campaign. After capitulation he joined the underground resistance movement. Following his arrest by the Gestapo in March 1940 he was sent to Auschwitz, where as a prisoner number 1201 he remained for 14 months. Nine months of this was in the punishment brigade, which included almost a month in a punishment bunker. In March 1942 he was transferred to a prison in Katowice where for his anti Nazi activities he was sentenced to death by beheading. After five months of waiting for the sentence to be carried out, he was pardoned. He spent the remainder of the war in various Nazi prisons and camps.
During his time on death row, he experienced a conversion to a very personal faith in Christ, together with a decision to give his life to the service of Christ. After the war he entered the Silesia Seminary in Kraków, where on 25th June 1950 he was ordained to the priesthood.
In the years 1954-56, during the period of the expulsion of the Bishops, he took part in activities of the underground Katowice Diocese. He helped to organize the return of the bishops to the diocese. After this, he worked for a period in the Diocesan Pastoral department and on the editorial staff of Gość Niedzielny (Sunday Guest). He also managed the Catecheses Centre and from 1957 organised a temperance movement -Temperance Crusade. The central office of this crusade was closed by the communist government in 1960 and Fr. Franciszek was arrested in March 1961. He was then sentenced to three months’ imprisonment suspended for 3 years.
From October 1961 Franciszek Blachnicki undertook further studies at the Catholic University in Lublin. Following completion he remained in Lublin as a lecturer-researcher in the Institute of Pastoral Theology. He specifically wanted to ensure that the Church's Second Vatican Council's teachings were widely known and understood by both the clergy and the laity. He developed methods of post Vatican liturgical formation.
From the very beginning of his priestly ministry, he laid great store by working in small groups, starting with Oaza Dzieci Bożych -Oasis of God's Children, to the 15 day experiential retreat called Oaza Żywego Kościoła- Oasis of the Living Church. This led to the formation of the Light- Life Movement.
Despite difficulties, this movement gathered momentum not only in Poland, but also in Czechoslovakia and even in Bolivia. Fr. Blachnicki also began other initiatives, which were in response to the signs of the times. These initiatives included movements such as: Crusade for the Liberation of Man, The Great Evangelisation Plan, Independent Christian Social Service, and Christian Service for the Liberation of Nations. Fr. Blachnicki became the spiritual father of a consecrated community- Institute of the Immaculate Mother of the Church. In 1981 when Martial Law was declared in Poland Fr. Blachnicki was abroad. In1982 he settled in Germany in a Polish centre Marianum in Carlsberg, where he died on 27th February 1987. After the death of Fr. Franciszek, John Paul II in a telegram sent to Bishop Szczepan Wesoły (the Bishop for Polish émigrés) wrote:
God has called Fr. Franciszek to Himself; and sadness fills many hearts. An ardent apostle of inner renewal and conversion and a great priest to youth has left us. His inspirations shaped a specific movement of renewal in Poland. His many talents, of both mind and heart, his specific charisma, which God had granted him, he devoted to building God's Kingdom. He built it with prayer, apostleship, suffering; he built with such determination that we rightly think of him as man of violence of this Church (Mt 1/,12). We thank God for all the good that was the privilege of others to receive through him. We pray for the fullness of Light and Life for his soul.
A diversity of activity and service to and in the Church, through an awakening and reawakening of involvement of the laity, in struggle for the sobriety of the nation, in his concern for the youth and families resulted in Fr. Blachnicki being an unusual witness of faith. He became a voice, calling all the laity to truly live the mystery of the Church.