Blessed Franz Jagerstatter was born in upper Austria on May 20, 1907. Franz lost his father to World War 1 and got adopted. When he was a young man, he was the leader of a gang and enjoyed riding motorcycles. After some time, he returned to upper Austria and became a farmer where he married a woman named Franziska. In 1939, Franz was drafted into the Austrian army and trained for 7 months, then got postponed. In 1940, he was called to the army but he was allowed to come back home at the request of the town’s mayor. His pastor, other priests, and bishop, told Franz to not refuse to serve for his own good. In February 1943, he was called, but refused to take the oath of Hitler. So, they imprisoned him in Linz. He was later transferred to another prison in May. On August 8, 1943, he wrote to Franziska and thanked her for everything and asked for forgiveness if he ever hurt or offended her. The following day, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter was beheaded and cremated. In 1946, his ashes were reburied in his hometown next to other military men who also perished.
Blessed Franz, you prayed deeply and discerned the will of God for your life.. Pray that we will surrender ourselves completely to God and thus experience the same consolation of our burden shared by Christ Himself. Pray that we may have the strength of our convictions as Catholics to defy the world and its promises of immediate gratification and glorification of self. Blessed Franz, you were beatified as a martyr to the faith and an example to us all of Christ-like sacrifice. Pray that we will follow Him wherever He may lead us. Amen.