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Beatification of priest who was martyred at Dachau

May 16, 2011

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the May 15 beatification of Father Georg Häfner (1900-42), a parish priest who perished of malnutrition at Dachau. The beatification took place at the cathedral in Wuerzburg.

Described as quiet and prayerful, Father Häfner refused to make the Hitler salute and continued to teach religion classes in defiance of Nazi authorities. The Vatican has declared his death to be a martyrdom.

“In the confusion of National Socialism, Georg Haefner was willing, as a faithful shepherd, to protect his flock and deliver the sacrament and the water of life to many people, until the end of his life,” Pope Benedict said following his Regina Caeli address. “He forgave those who wronged him, and in a letter to his parents from prison, he wrote, ‘We want to be at peace with everyone.’”


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