In 2005 the Church beatified Cardinal Clemens von Galen, who was Bishop of Munster and is known for his three powerful sermons in the summer of 1941 excoriating the Nazi political party for their positions against human life and the freedom of the Church. In his homily at the beatification, Cardinal Martins said of Cardinal von Galen’s words, “in times that may seem less threatening but are just as problematic with regard to human life, they invite us to imitate his example.” He died in 1946 and his Feast Day is March 22.
God and Father of Life,
You anointed Your Son Jesus Christ
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And announce a year of favor from the Lord.
In every age you raise up preachers
To continue proclaiming the Gospel of Life
And challenging the powers of darkness and death.
We thank you today for Blessed Clemens von Galen,
Who as a bishop preached clearly and courageously
Against the Nazi political party
And their godless agenda of exterminating human beings.
He challenged their false gospel
That some lives are not worth living.
He infuriated their leaders,
Who did not know how to counteract his authority.
You gave Bishop Clemens
A deep sense of responsibility
To speak up for vulnerable human lives.
You gave him clear vision
To see and address the evil going on in his society.
Give to all your people the same vision and courage.
Give to your priests the ability to preach and teach
About the evil of abortion.
Enable them to challenge the politicians of our day
Who pursue an agenda of death.
Through the fidelity of your priests and people,
Bring us to a culture of life!
We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Blessed Clemens von Galen, pray for us!
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life