Franz Jägerstätter Memorial Service with Pax Christi

  • Theresa Alessandro

Source: Pax Christi

Around 50 Pax Christi members and friends met online to mark the execution of Austrian Catholic farmer and conscientious objector, Franz Jägerstätter. Due to the online format, we were able to welcome people from America and Uruguay, as well as Pax Christi Scotland's Chair, Marian Pallister.

Pax Christi Vice President Valerie Flessati recalled some of the history of our involvement with Franz Jägerstätter's legacy, including visits to his home of St Radegund and meeting his widow, Franziska. We shared messages and pictures from partners in Pax Christi Austria, for whom the 9th August is a full day of commemorative events and liturgy.

Marian Pallister gave a powerful personal reflection. She said: "I see Franz as a man that Jesus might have seen working in the fields or digging a grave and invited to join Him - because he WAS ostensibly ordinary, just like Simon Peter; just like Thomas."

Her thoughts provided a rich starting point for discussion and sharing in smaller groups. The inclusion of music from Marion Hill and then listening to the improvisation of the Franz Jägerstätter hymn by Argentinian violinist José Ignacio Davila, lifted the proceedings too.

From Pax Christi Austria, Michael Huber-Kirchberger said that Franz is 'somebody who can show us how to follow a cause against mainstream opinion, to keep on thinking the right thing'. As we continue to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of Pax Christi International this year, Pax Christi members certainly intend to 'keep on' working for peace together. We are inspired by people like Franz Jägerstätter who, faced with losing his life for refusing to serve in Hitler's army, was still able to write: 'For love will conquer and will endure for all eternity. And happy are they who live and die in God's love.'

Listen to a recording of Marian's talk here:

Tags: Franz Jägerstätter, Valerie Flessati, Marian Pallister, Theresa Alessandro, Michael Huber-Kirchberger, Pax Christi

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