A German bishop demands the canonization of indigenous martyrs

The representative of the German Bishops’ Conference called on the leaders of the Church in Africa to initiate canonization procedures for German martyrs who were brutally murdered in several countries on the continent.

Journalists from the ACI Africa agency asked Father Helmut Moll, who prepared the biographies of more than thirty German martyrs from Africa, what actions were taken to initiate their canonization processes. As the priest noted, the initiative in this matter should come from the African bishops.

– Your local churches must ensure that these German martyrs are elevated to the altars in honor – Moll replied, pointing to the local ordinaries of episcopal and metropolitan sees, as well as to the national bishops’ conferences of the countries in Africa where the murders of priests took place.

Moll said the starting point was to translate into African languages ​​the biographies of the Germans who paid the highest price for evangelization on this continent.

– Please translate the biographies of African martyrs into your national language! – he emphasized during an interview on March 7, a few days after the list of German martyrs who had died in Africa was made public. He said these biographies are currently “being translated into Arabic, but there are problems with printing.”

Moll, a historian with previous experience at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Vatican Congregation for Saints, began compiling biographies of German missionaries at the request of Catholic bishops in Germany.

Apparently the inspiration for writing these biographies was Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter of November 1994 on preparations for the Jubilee of the year 2000. In the letter John Paul II stated: “At the end of the second millennium the Church once again became the Church of martyrs. In our century they returned as martyrs, often unknown, as ‘unknown soldiers’ for God’s great cause.

Martyrs from Africa

German martyrs in Africa whose profiles have been documented include Fr. Fr. Franz Jäger, a member of the Oblates who was murdered in South West Africa in 1905 during the Herero Uprising. South West Africa was an area under the administration of South Africa from 1915 to 1990. The country is currently called Namibia.

Others include three missionaries who died in Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe) in 1977: Sisters Magdala (Christa Elisabeth) Lewandowska from Kiel, Epiphany (Berta) Schneider from Munich and Ceslaus (Anna) Stiegler from Upper Palatinate.

The list also includes the names of Benedictine missionaries, missionary sisters of St. Benedict with St. Ottilien, who died in Tanzania, as well as a missionary of the Sacred Heart and two little brothers Charles de Foucauld, who were murdered in Congo.

Source: Do Rzeczy