Cause of canonization of German man who opposed Nazis moves forward

.- After thirteen months of work, the diocesan phase of the cause of canonization of Josef Mayr-Nusser, who was a leader in opposing the Nazis and died for his Catholic faith, ended this week in the Italian city of Bolzano.

Bishop Wilhelm Egger of Bolzano-Bressanone led the ceremony.  The cause now moves to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints for the next step in the canonization process.

“Thanks to the work of many volunteers, the diocesan phase was concluded in very little time, and this should be considered the fruit of the prayers of many people,” said the postulator of the cause, Father Josef Innerhofer.

Josef Mayr-Nusser was born into a rural household and was blessed with very devout parents.  He became leader of the Catholic Action movement in the German district of the Diocese of Trent in 1934.

Years later he secretly became a member of the anti-Nazi movement “Andreas Hofer Bund.”  When German troops overtook his region, he was forced to enroll in the Nazi secret police and was sent to Konitz, Germany.

When the time came for him to swear his oath of allegiance, despite the advice of his peers and of some of his superiors, he refused to comply saying he could not do so for reasons of conscience.  He was arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Dachau.  On the way he was severely mistreated and was deprived of food and water.  He died in the city of Erlangen on February 24, 1945.

He is buried at the Church of San Giusepee in Bolzano.