Archbishop of Vienna Remembers Nazi Resistor

ROME, NOV. 4, 2005 ( Cardinal Christoph Schönborn paid a special tribute to the memory of Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a Catholic executed for his opposition to Hitler and Nazism.

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The archbishop of Vienna, accompanied by other Austrian prelates on their five-yearly visit to Rome, presided at a prayer meeting today in St. Bartholomew’s Basilica on Tiberina Island, dedicated to 20th-century witnesses of the faith.

During the ceremony, organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio, one of Jägerstätter’s manuscripts, written in a prison near Berlin before his execution, was presented.

The test will remain in the basilica as a testimony of his witness.

Jägerstätter wrote: «I am writing with bound hands; but it is better than if my will had been enchained. Sometimes God reveals his strength openly to us; strength he grants to those who love him and do not put earth before heaven.

«Not prison, not chains, not even death can part a man from the love of God, or rob him of his free will. The power of God is invincible.»

Jägerstätter, a Catholic husband and father of three, was decapitated on Aug. 9, 1943.

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