Father van Straaten's Last Words to Benefactors

«We Have Been Able to Dry the Tears of Many Brothers»

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KONIGSTEIN, Germany, FEB. 4, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Father Werenfried van Straaten expressed his last wish to the 700,000 benefactors of Aid to the Church in Need, in a posthumous message of gratitude and an invitation to continue ACN’s work.

The confidence that so many people placed in ACN made it possible «to dry the tears of many brothers in the faith of Jesus Christ, who because they wished to continue to be faithful disciples of his, were tortured, imprisoned and, in many cases, died,» wrote the «bacon priest,» as he was endearingly known.

The Dutch Premonstratensian priest, who died last Friday at age 90, dedicated the last 56 years of his life to the work of pontifical right that he founded. ACN supports the Church wherever it faced difficulties in its mission because of lack of religious freedom or financial means.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain and by the express wish of John Paul II, Aid to the Church in Need began to establish contact with the Russian Orthodox Church, to help this Church which was also severely affected by Communism.

Following is the integral text of Father van Straaten’s «spiritual testament» to the benefactors.

* * *

LAST WISH …

When you read these words, I will no longer be among you. I humbly hope to enjoy the eternal presence of the Lord.

Thank you, thank you for your affection, faithfulness, most valuable prayers, and for the trust you placed in this humble friar and in Aid to the Church in Need.

Thanks to this trust, we have been able to dry the tears of many brothers in the faith of Jesus Christ, who because they wished to continue to be faithful disciples of His, were tortured, imprisoned and, in many cases, died.

I ask you to continue helping with generous love this Work of ours, loved and supported by the Popes and, really, so necessary.

When I reach the House of the Father, together with his merciful love and with that of our much loved Mother, I will continue to pray for you.

Do not forget the work we have been doing until now. Continue without faltering! Remember in a special way our priests, many of whom live their ministry with great difficulty. Because of this, I ask you once again for your invaluable cooperation: the offering of Masses for your intentions will be a great help for the priests of the Church in need throughout the world. It is the best gift you can give for me.

Your grateful

Werenfried van Straaten

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