Franz Jägerstätter 1907-1943
Katholische Kirche in Oberösterreich
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Common of martyrs: for one martyr, in Easter time

Collect, Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings.

21 May
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, father of a family and martyr

Common of martyrs: for o­ne martyr, in Easter time


Almighty and eternal God,
who gave the martyr Blessed Francis Jägerstätter
the strength to fight to the death for the faith;
grant us, by his intercession,
to hasten towards you with a sincere heart
for you alone are our life and our salvation.
Through our Lord.

Liturgy of the Hours
May 21


Born in 1907 at St Radegund in Austria, he refused any cooperation with the regime which seized power in Austria in 1938 and when repeatedly called up for military service, he declared himself bound to refuse by conscience and because of the commandment of the love for God and o­ne’s neighbour, for "we must obey God rather than men". Condemned to death in 1943 for undermining military discipline, he was beheaded o­n 9 August at Brandenburg an der Havel in Germany, and merited being united to the passion of Christ.

Office of Readings

From notes made in prison (July-August 1943) by Blessed Francis Jägerstätter, Father of a family and Martyr
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
I shall now jot down a few words as they are coming from my heart. Though I am writing them with my hands bound, yet this is still better than if my will were in chains.
Obviously, God sometimes shows the strength that he is able to grant to those who love him and do not prefer earthly things to what is eternal. Neither prison nor chains, nor even death, can separate us from the love of God, take away our faith or our free will. God’s might is unconquerable. Be obedient and submit to authority! These words ring out from almost every side today, even from people who hardly believe anymore anything that is written in Holy Scripture and that God has told us to believe. If such efforts were made to save every man from grave sin and thus from eternal death, as are being made to save me from earthly death, then heaven would really be already o­n earth. Time and again attempts are made to burden your conscience out of consideration for wife and children. Would the deed done be better because of the fact of being married and having children? Or is the deed better or worse just because thousands of other Catholics do it as well? Has smoking become a virtue nowadays, just because thousands of Catholics smoke? Would it be permissible to lie, too, just o­n the grounds of having a wife and children, and even compound the lie by an oath? Did not Christ himself say that whoever loves his wife, mother, and children more than me is not worthy of me? For what reason, then, do we beseech God for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, if we are supposed to obey blindly in any case? Why did God endow every man with reason and free will if, as many say, it is not even our business to decide whether this war that Germany is waging is just or unjust? To what end, then, does anyone still need to know the difference between good and evil? I think it is certainly possible to give blind obedience, but o­nly if no o­ne else is harmed by it. If people were more honest today, I think there still ought to be some Catholics who say: Yes, I see that what we are doing is really not good, but I am simply not yet ready to die.
If God had not bestowed upon me the grace and the strength even to die for my faith, when it is asked of me, then perhaps I might do just what most people do. God can bestow upon anyone as many graces as he wants. Had others received these many graces just as I have, they might have achieved much more good than I. What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.

RESPONSORY     Cf. Rom 8: 35, 37-39
R/ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? * In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
R/ Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. * In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.