Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Austrian who defied Nazis to be canonized

Zenit.org reports that Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter, an Austrian who was guillotined for refusing to serve in the German Army, will be canonized October 26th.

Doing a googlesearch, I found this column from Fr. Thomas Rosica.

His wife, Franziska and his three daughters are still alive.

Franz presented himself to the military authorities in Enns on March 1, 1943 and announced he was refusing to fight. During March and April he was held in custody at Linz. In the first weeks of imprisonment at Linz in March 1943, he underwent a crisis of faith. His main trial took place on July 6, 1943 before the second panel of the national court martial. He was "condemned to death for sedition and sentenced to loss of civil rights and of eligibility for military service."

The court did not respond to his request to be allowed to do medical service, where he would have had the opportunity, like other conscientious objectors, to withdraw his objection unconditionally.

A good quote:

Around the year 1936, Franz wrote these bold words to his godchild: "I can say from my own experience how painful life often is when one lives as a halfway Christian; it is more like vegetating than living." And he poignantly adds: "Since the death of Christ, almost every century has seen the persecution of Christians; there have always been heroes and martyrs who gave their lives -- often in horrible ways -- for Christ and their faith. If we hope to reach our goal some day, then we, too, must became heroes of the faith."

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