Four Modern Day Martyrs, But Only Three To Be Beatified By the Church

Soon-to-be beatified priests, along with fellow martyred Lutheran pastor, were ‘shining lights on our common ecumenical path.’

LUBECK, Germany (CNS) — As the Nazi executioner beheaded three Catholic priests and a Lutheran pastor, one after another in a matter of minutes, their blood flowed together, creating a powerful symbol for ecumenism in northern Germany.

On June 25, the three Catholic martyrs of Lubeck — Fathers Johannes Prassek, Eduard Muller and Hermann Lange — will be beatified in the historic city’s Sacred Heart Church, a stone’s throw away from the Lubeck Cathedral, the ministerial home of the Rev. Karl Friedrich Stellbrink, their Lutheran counterpart. Rev. Stellbrink will be honored in a special way that day as well.

The four were executed in Hamburg Nov. 10, 1943. All had been found guilty of disseminating anti-Nazi material — such as the homilies of Cardinal Clemens von Galen of Munster — and other “treasonous” activities.

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