Blessed Franz Jägerstätter
The “Age of Martyrs” is the term of art for the earliest years of Christian history, but as Pope Francis remarked in a homily last April 15, “the age of martyrs is not yet over; even today we can say, in truth, that the Church has more martyrs now than during the first centuries.” More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined.
The lives of these remarkable men and women and the effects of their witness in the Church and the world are the subjects of the University of Notre Dame’s Saturdays with the Saints program, a series of morning talks offered on football home game days throughout the fall. Sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life and engaging a wide variety of the University’s faculty, the hourlong program sessions are held on home game Saturdays beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall.
This Saturday (Aug. 31), Robert A. Krieg, professor of theology, will speak on “Blessed Franz Jägerstätter: Farmer, Conscientious Objector, and Martyr.” The 36-year-old Jägerstätter was beheaded on Aug. 9, 1943, for refusing military service in the armies of the Third Reich. He was beatified, or declared “blessed,” by Pope Benedict XVI six years ago. Krieg, a scholar of Christology and German Catholic theology, recently translated and edited “Franz Jaegerstaetter: Letters and Writings from Prison.”