Bl. Carl Lampert: ” ‘I love my Church. I remain faithful to my Church and to the priesthood. I am on Christ’s side and I love His Church.”

I had determined last year that this year I would during Advent read a book Advent of the Heart, reflections by a priest who died in Dachau, Fr. Alfred Delp – a fellow Lutheran convert. (Kindle version. UK book.)  Remember: Advent is less about ho ho ho and Merry Christmas and more about your personal encounter with the Lord at the Second Coming (or your death, which ever comes first.. and they will come.  Ho ho ho about that for a while, Fishwrap readers… but I digress.)

I saw this on CNA. Great article.

Benedict XVI praises newly beatified priest killed by Nazis

Vatican City, Nov 17, 2011 / 01:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After praying the Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict praised the example of Father Carl Lampert, an Austrian priest who was killed by the Nazis in 1944 and beatified in his native country Nov. 13.

“In the dark time of National Socialism,” the Pope said, Fr. Lampert “clearly understood the meaning of the words of St. Paul: ‘We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.’”

“During one interrogation which could have led to his release, he testified with conviction:

‘I love my Church. I remain faithful to my Church and to the priesthood. I am on Christ’s side and I love His Church,’” the Pope recalled.

Pope Benedict entrusted those gathered with him in St. Peter’s Square on Nov. 13 to the intercession “of the new Blessed that we may participate with him in the joy of the Lord.”

Fr. Lampert was a diocesan priest who worked as the vicar general of the Diocese of Innsbruck Feldkirch in Austria.

After the Nazi persecution began in full force in 1939, he was arrested three times for “alleged activity against the State” and was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. He was watched by the Gestapo, and his phone calls and correspondence were under continual surveillance.  [I wonder if we shall see these times again.]

On Feb. 4, 1943, he was arrested along with 40 others and accused of high treason, espionage, undermining army morale and aiding the enemy.

Together with two other priests, Father Herbert Simoleit and Father Friedrich Lorenz, he was beheaded on Nov. 13, 1944. He died speaking the names of Jesus and Mary.

At his inaugural Mass as Sovereign Pontiff Pope Benedict begged for prayers.

“Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”

Pray for your priests.  Bl. Carl, pray for us.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. DisturbedMary says:

    Beheading? (How postmodern.) Many tears reading this. I cry for myself of course not for Blessed Father Lampert. And for Holy Father Father and priests especially. We are all only one mob away.

  2. APX says:

    How sad. :(

  3. dans0622 says:

    Sad? I suppose it is, in several ways–most of all in that I have little confidence that I would act as Bl. Lampert did. Hearing the readings from Maccabees the last couple of days has made this very apparent to me.

  4. Liz says:

    APX, what is sad? What do you mean? Please explain.

    To have the grace of a happy death, speaking the names of Jesus and Mary, and dying a martyr, brings tears to my eyes, but only because it seems so glorious.

    I was just discussing this entry with my 13-year old daughter, explaining to her how much our priests need our prayers, and how we can never pray for our Holy Father enough.

  5. leonugent2005 says:

    Father Delp was hanged on 2 February 1945 at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. He remarked to Father Peter Bucholz the chaplain at Plotenzensee as he was he was being taken to his execution that in 30 minuets I’ll know more than you….they were both Jesuits. Incidently Roland Freisler the Nazi judge who condemned him to death was killed in an air raid the next day.

  6. anncouper-johnston says:

    Maybe I should do some Advent reading too …. I have the biography of Bl. Clemens von Galen, Lion of Munster who, after starting off very understated, came out against Hitler when the Nazis got even more viscious towards the Jews and those they deemed “useless mouths” (= anyone not fit and healthy). Such people disappeared for treatment at a clinic and were never seen again (and that was if they were “lucky” – otherwise they were just murdered there and then). I am beginning to compose my own private litany of victims of the Nazis – Edith Stein, Karl Leisner, Clemens von Galen, Alfred Delp, Franz Jagerstatter, Maximillian Kolbe …… and doubtless there are more, including Bl Carl Lampert, though I don’t think I’ll include Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (A comparison between him and Edith Stein would be an interesting study – they both came from Breslau … )

    I fear these times are coming again …. the Nazis worked to make the unthinkable the norm – look how that is happening and how powerless we are to stop it. Things that should be seen as morally wrong are dressed up to sound positive: abortion/a right to choose; homosexuality/an equally valid way to love (in fact, lust); co-habitation/some couples’ preferred lifestyle choice. If you make a conscientious objection you are called a bigot and in the UK the courts will uphold the right of the homosexual against that of Christian conscience, despite the fact that Catholics are some 10% of the population and the various devient sexualities only 1 – 1.5%. Like the Nazis, some people have a disproportionate influence …..

  7. keithp says:

    I ordered the book on Fr Delp’s writings. Perfect for Advent. Thank you for the idea.

    Both Fr Delp and Fr Lampert are modern martyrs who truly inspire me. And, provide me with more knowledge of that blessed communion of saints that I have as my resource. In the coming times, we may have more and more need for their prayers and intercession for us.

  8. leonugent2005 says:

    DisturbedMary beheading is not postmodern at all. Many martyrs before the council of Trent died this way. St Paul comes to mind.

  9. NobisQuoQue says:

    When I visited Dachau, I was amazed at the number of priests who had died there.

    You may also be inspired by the story of Sophie & Hans Scholl, who were also beheaded by the Nazis.

  10. Centristian says:

    “I love my Church. I remain faithful to my Church and to the priesthood. I am on Christ’s side and I love His Church,”

    Words that ought to reflect the sentiments in the heart of every priest. What a hero. This beatus is clearly one to pray to when praying for priests. I have never heard of Carl Lampert before; I’m glad to have been made aware of him. Thanks to the Rev. Blogger, as ever.

    Two things stand out for me:

    1 How stunning this priest’s words seem today. One could, I believe, be pardoned for finding it difficult to imagine that the preponderance of today’s priests should hold such unwavering sentiments of fidelity in their hearts. Not that there weren’t clergymen who were less fulsome in their resistance to evil in Lampert’s day; every era shows both heroism and failure, I suppose. We’ve all seen those disturbing images of Catholic clergymen offering the “Heil, Hitler” salute as they somehow deceived themselves into believing that they were just trying to be proper citizens. How reassuringly and magnificently this priest’s words stand in contrast to such images.

    2. The bizarre brutality of the Nazis. Beheading in the year 1944? Why? To get their Reign of Terror era kicks and jollies? It shouldn’t really amaze me, I suppose, but it seems that everything one reads about the Nazis is actually weirder than the last thing one read. It’s hard to fathom an entire national governing structure and military characterized by such limitless depravity, insecurity, and wickedness, yet it was allowed to come to be, largely on account of economic turmoil, without much internal resistance. I shudder to imagine what life in Germany and other Nazi occupied territiories must have been like. I suspect the words and images of history only offer an incomplete sketch of what was actually experienced by the unfortunate subjects of Adolf Hitler.

  11. irishgirl says:

    anncouper-johnston: I think that Blessed Clemens von Galen survived the war. He didn’t die a violent death as the others you mentioned in your ‘litany’. He was created a Cardinal once the war was over. I believe he died in 1946.
    Another Catholic martyr I can add to the ‘litany’ is Blessed Restituta Kafka. She was a nursing Sister in Austria who defied the Nazis and put crucifixes in all the wards of the hospital she worked in. She was condemned to be beheaded as well.
    She couldn’t even die wearing her religious habit; she was clad in a paper dress as she was led to the guillotine.

  12. jaykay says:

    Centristian: beheading had been a traditional method of execution in Germany, so it wasn’t just a Nazi aberration. In fact, it could even be seen as relatively merciful. Lord knows, they were capable enough of cruel and unusual punishment: the stringing-up of the July 1944 plotters with piano wire is just one example.

    The guillotine was used in France right up to the late 70s.

  13. Centristian says:

    “The guillotine was used in France right up to the late 70s.”

    Old habits die hard, I suppose.

  14. mbutton says:

    It’s always sobering to be reminded that the faith is handed down to us by the blood and witness of martyrs.

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