Words from the Last Testament of Joachim Card. Meisner

It seems there is a video going about of Card. Woelki reading from the will of the late Joachim Card. Meisner (most recently known as one of the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia).

Like everyone, I do not know the hour or the day of my death, nor the way or where I will die. Therefore I’d like to write down one last word to you all that will be read at an appropriate moment. It is really a last word for you in this world to Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Word through which everything is created. I thank you that you wanted me and that I was therefore created. Your Word accompanied me through life and led me through the world and around people when in need. Therefore I became a priest and then a bishop. Moulded and ordained by your stigmata. The most remarkable thing about my life is that you redeemed me through your Cross and deemed me worthy of your sufferings. Through your love for the world, your heart, your hands, your feet were punctured. Out of love for mankind you touched me with your Cross. You let me be your priest and your bishop. Therefore, especially in death, I want to praise the Cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ which brought joy into the world. In the Divine Office I witness and profess with our priests emphatically: Christ, divine Lord, you are loved only by those who have the power to love. Christ, you are my hope, my peace, my joy, my whole life. Christ, my soul draws towards you Christ, to you I pray. Christ, I hold myself close to you. With all the strength of my soul, I love you, Lord, alone, I seek you, I follow you. In this joy, I tried to serve you all in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Our Bishopric town of Cologne bears the honorary title Sancta Colonia Dei Gratia Romanae Ecclesiae Fidelis Filia – Holy Cologne, by the grace of God, the Roman Church’s faithful daughter. I tried conform to this expression in my episcopal service. Christ gave the Petrine office to the Church in order to give an orientation and support to the many people in the different times. That is my last request to you all for your salvation. Stay with our Holy Father. He is the Peter of today. Follow his guidance. Listen to his word. Peter wants nothing for himself, but everything for the Lord and for his brothers and sisters. You all know the course of my life followed three societal systems – the 12 years of Hitler, 24 year reign of communism and now over 20 years of democratic freedom. In all three epochs, the service of the pope has given me orientation, encouragement and assistance. Remain always with the Pope and you will never lose Christ. I do not desire the grace which the Apostle John received, nor the forgiveness with which you pardoned Peter. I only desire the words which you said to the robber on the Cross: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Cologne, 25 March 2011

Joachim Cardinal Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne


Meditate daily on the Four Last Things.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. VexillaRegis says:

    From Brahm’s A German Requiem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8xSNoL44RA

    At 1:04 35
    Selig sind die Toten,
    die in dem Herrn sterben,
    von nun an

    Ja der Geist spricht,
    daß sie ruhen von ihrer Arbeit;
    denn ihre Werke folgen ihnen nach

    Blessed are the dead
    that die in the Lord
    from henceforth

    Yea, saith the spirit,
    that they rest from their labors,
    and their works shall follow them

    May the good Cardinal rest in peace.

  2. gaudete says:

    The video can be found here, directly under the second heading “Predigt von Kardinal Woelki”: http://erzbistum-koeln.de/news/Woelki-verliest-Geistliches-Testament-Meisners-in-Trauermesse/

    It starts at min. 13:01 only, as it’s read out as part of the homily.

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I don’t know the state of the man’s soul, although I have respected pretty much everything I’ve heard about his deeds and words. But that is the Last Testament of a saint. Let’s learn from it.

    May light perpetual shine upon him, and may he rest in peace.

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    What a good priest.

  5. Liz says:

    That is so touching. May his reward be great in heaven!

  6. pj_houston says:

    “Remain always with the Pope and you will never lose Christ…”

    Folks, this should serve as a reminder to update your will every once in awhile.

  7. Cradle Catholic says:

    Wonderful testament. I could not help noticing that it was written in 2011, before our current pope took office.

    As such, how does one live his recommendation to ‘stay’ with the Holy Father…listen to his guidance?

    I can see why Cardinal Meisner was one of those who submitted the dubia.p

  8. q7swallows says:

    I’m catching up on the blog after a long absence and I couldn’t help but see a rather stark contrast between the last actions of Card. Meisner and the rash of subterfuges involving Card. Coccopalmerio’s nominee for bishop, Msgr. Capozzi. Polar opposites, no? Thank God the poor monsignor and his cardinal have been given the gift of time to reexamine their perspective on a few things . . .

  9. VexillaRegis says:

    **Interview with Cardinal Müller from today, where he says that he spoke with Cardinal Meisner the night before Cl Meisner died. Read there about the dubia and the dismissal of Müller:

  10. Unwilling says:

    As the heap of coals in the blacksmith’s forge
    when the bellows still
    grows dark on top
    and the white hot blaze in the centre is hidden
    under the closing clinkers
    heat remains glowing
    waiting to breathe
    breaking through the clinkers
    flashes tongues of white yellow light
    telling us

  11. KAS says:

    That is so beautiful I am in tears. This is how a Bishop ought to write, to speak, to teach.

  12. samwise says:

    Thanks for this reference to Cardinal M?ller’s thoughts and telling friendship with Meisner. It’s good to see such friendship

  13. janeway529 says:

    “Remain always with the Pope and you will never lose Christ…”

    This is why God took Cardinal Meisner home to Himself, so we could view this message and keep it to heart.

  14. Martin_B says:

    In his first statement Card. Woelki told some details about Card. Meisners death.
    He was on holiday with a priest-friend of him and they were sheduled for holy mass that morning. The friend had heard the Card. being awake in his room but he didn’t show up for mass and wasn’t answering at his door.
    When they went in, they found him dead, sitting in his chair, the breviary fallen from his hand.
    So, he died while praying. What a way to go from this world for a priest.
    He was my archbishop for nearly half my life and was always the rock within the turmoil to lock up to.
    May he rest in peace.

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