Hungarian Martyr to Be Beatified

Sister Sara Salkahazi Helped Jews

BUDAPEST, Hungary, JUNE 23, 2006 ( Sister Sara Salkahazi, a nun shot to death for sheltering Jews in Hungary during World War II, will be beatified in Budapest this fall.

Bishop Andras Veres, secretary of the Hungarian bishops’ conference, said on Thursday that the beatification will be conducted by Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and president of the Hungarian episcopal conference, on Sept. 17 in St. Stephen’s Basilica.

In April, Benedict XVI signed a decree on Sister Salkahazi’s martyrdom, a document paving the way for her beatification.

A member of the Sisters of Social Service, a charity organization helping the poor, the woman religious was a journalist, a writer and a cultural activist. She helped to shelter hundreds of Jews, including many women and children, in a convent in the final months of the war.

She was reported to the authorities, and henchmen of the ruling fascist Arrow Cross Party drove her and the people she had sheltered to the banks of the Danube River and shot them on Dec. 27, 1944.

The Sisters of Social Service saved more than 1,000 lives during the war.

Cardinal Erdo, the primate of Hungary, said in reaction to the Pope’s decision: “I believe that in the year of the nation’s spiritual renewal, the Holy Father could not give a more beautiful gift to the Church, and also to the whole of Hungarian society.”