ROME, JULY 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal August von Galen, who dared to defy Hitler, will be beatified Oct. 9, according to the Muenster Diocese Web page.
The cardinal, who lived 1878-1946, would become the first German to be proclaimed blessed in Benedict XVI’s pontificate, the page said.
In a letter addressed to Bishop Reinhard Lettmann and dated June 29, Benedict XVI announced von Galen’s beatification for “this year.”
The diocese stated that the beatification will be held in St. Peter’s Basilica, with a papal decree to be read by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, who will preside over the ceremony. The beatification is taking place after a miracle occurred in December attributed to Cardinal von Galen.
While bishop of Muenster, during the Nazi regime, Clemens August von Galen spoke out in defense of the rights of the poor and the sick, protesting strongly against euthanasia, the confiscation of monasteries and convents, the persecution of Jews and the expulsion of religious.
To avoid uprisings resulting from Bishop von Galen’s protests, Hitler gave orders on Aug. 3, 1941, to officially block the euthanasia program. Euthanasia continued, though on a much smaller scale.
During von Galen’s process of beatification, it was discovered that Pope Pius XII read his homilies and presented him as a “hero” to German priests of Westphalia.