Hamburg, Germany, Jun 25, 2011 / 10:02 am America/Denver (CNA).
Three Catholic martyrs executed under the Nazi regime were beatified in Germany today, June 25. The event was also noteworthy for its rememberance of their Lutheran companion.
Fathers Hermann Lange, Eduard Müller and Johannes Prassek, along with Lutheran pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink, were guillotined in a Hamburg prison in November 1943. The Nazi regime found them guilty of “defeatism, malice, favoring the enemy and listening to enemy broadcasts.”
At a ceremony in the northern German city of Lubeck, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, declared the trio of Catholic clergy to be ‘blessed.’ He also expressed an ‘honorable remembrance’ for the priests’ fellow Christian martyr, Pastor Stellbrink.
“What distinguishes these four also is the fact that in the face of National-Socialist despotism they overcame the divide between the two faiths to find a common path to fight and act together,” says the official history which accompanied the ceremony.
It’s estimated that over 9,000 pilgrims – both Catholic and Protestant – attended today’s ceremony. Twenty Catholic and four Protestant bishops planned to attend.