Blessed Franz (1907 – 1943) was born into a peasant family at Sankt Radegund, Austria. His father was killed in World War I and, as a child, he was cared for by his grandmother and natural mother. His youth was spent working as a miner and farmer on the family farmstead which he inherited when his father died. Blessed Franz married a very devout Catholic, spending their honeymoon on pilgrimage in Rome. They had three daughters.
When Germany invaded Austria in the Second World War, Blessed Franz was the only person in his village to vote against their occupation and Austria’s annexation to make it part of Germany. Blessed Franz, although he had a brief period of military training, actively avoided army conscription on the grounds of exemption as a farmer. Instead, he remained involved in his community, joining the Franciscans as a lay person and working as sacristan.
Blessed Franz was finally forced into active service but he again refused, declaring himself to be a conscientious objector although, he offered to serve as a paramedic. His offer was ignored. He was imprisoned and executed by guillotine, aged 36 years.
Bl. Franz Jägerstätter:
Pray for us that we will hold firm to our faith and uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Glory be to the…