Feast of Blessed Lojze Grozde (May 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  Yugoslavia, September 1939

Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor from Hammond’s New Era Atlas of the World (1945)

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BLESSED LOJZE GROZDE (MAY 27, 1923-JANUARY 1, 1943)

Slovenian Roman Catholic Martyr

Alternative feast day = January 1

Blessed Lojze Grozde served God ably during his 19 years of life.  He, born out-of-wedlock at Trzišce, Zgornje Vodale, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, on May 27, 1923, and baptized that day, grew up with his maternal grandparents and an aunt, pious peasants who raised him.  Our saint, a fine student, attended a boarding school in Ljubljana, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor.  Grozde, who joined the Congregation of Mary at the age of 13 years and Catholic Action two years later, considered studying for the priesthood yet concluded that he could do more for God as a layman.

World War II proved deadly for Grozde.  Yugoslavia was under fascist–Italian and German–occupation.  Communist rebels, being opposed to fascism because they were communists, resisted the occupiers (as rebels in occupied countries tend to do).  Some of these rebels mistook our saint, who was en route to visit relatives, for a fascist collaborator.  He was, without a doubt, a Roman Catholic; he carried a Latin prayer-book and the copy of The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis.  These rebels arrested, incarcerated, and tortured Grozde, whom they killed at Mirna Trebnje, Slovenia, on January 1, 1943.  Some children found his corpse in the woods on February 23.

Pope Benedict XVI declared Grozde a Venerable then a Blessed in 2010.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR; FATHER OF MARKUS BARTH, SWISS LUTHERAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF GEORG FRIEDRICH HELLSTROM, DUTCH-GERMAN MORAVIAN MUSICIAN, COMPOWER, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER FOURIER, “THE GOOD PRIEST OF MATTAINCOURT;” AND SAINT ALIX LE CLERC, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME OF CANONESSES REGULAR OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

THE FEAST OF SAINT WALTER CISZEK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND POLITICAL PRISONER

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Lojze Grozde

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 714

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