After praying the Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict praised the example of Father Carl Lampert, an Austrian priest who was killed by the Nazis in 1944 and beatified in his native country Nov. 13.
“In the dark time of National Socialism,” the Pope said, Fr. Lampert “clearly understood the meaning of the words of St. Paul: 'We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.'”
“During one interrogation which could have led to his release, he testified with conviction: 'I love my Church. I remain faithful to my Church and to the priesthood. I am on Christ’s side and I love His Church,'” the Pope recalled.
Pope Benedict entrusted those gathered with him in St. Peter's Square on Nov. 13 to the intercession “of the new Blessed that we may participate with him in the joy of the Lord.”
Fr. Lampert was a diocesan priest who worked as the vicar general of the Diocese of Innsbruck Feldkirch in Austria.
After the Nazi persecution began in full force in 1939, he was arrested three times for “alleged activity against the State” and was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. He was watched by the Gestapo, and his phone calls and correspondence were under continual surveillance.
On Feb. 4, 1943, he was arrested along with 40 others and accused of high treason, espionage, undermining army morale and aiding the enemy.
Together with two other priests, Father Herbert Simoleit and Father Friedrich Lorenz, he was beheaded on Nov. 13, 1944. He died speaking the names of Jesus and Mary.