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Pope: Martyr who defied Hitler oath is a model for fathers

Blessed Joseph Mayr-Nusser

Pope Francis said a martyr who refused to take the ‘Hitler oath’ after he was drafted into the German army in 1944 is a “model for fathers”.

During his Angelus address on Sunday, the Pope discussed the beatification of Blessed Joseph Mayr-Nusser, which took place the day before in the Italian city of Bolsano, Vatican Radio reports.

After refusing to pledge his loyalty to Hitler, Blessed Joseph, who was a layman, father and promoter of Catholic Action, was sentenced to death. He later died on the way to Dachau concentration camp.

“On account of his great moral and spiritual stature,” Pope Francis said, Blessed Joseph “is a model for the lay faithful, especially for fathers, who we remember with great affection today.”

During the Angelus address, the Pope also told the faithful that Lent is a chance to “to draw near” to Jesus, “to encounter Him in prayer in a heart-to-heart dialogue, to see His face in the face of a brother or a sister who is suffering.”

Francis added that in this way, “we can renew within ourselves the grace of Baptism, quenching our thirst at the font of the Word of God and of the Holy Spirit.”

Pope Francis told the people of Peru that he was praying for them after “devastating floods” struck the country.

Since the start of 2017, more than 70 people have died after heavy rainfall, overflowing rivers and mudslides hit large sections of the country.

“I pray for the victims and for those who are committed to providing relief,” the Pope said.