(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday recalled the Beatification of Joseph Mayr-Nusser, which took place the day before in the Italian city of Bolsano. Blessed Joseph, as the Holy Father noted, was a layman, the father of a family and a promoter of Catholic Action. In 1944, Mayr-Nusser refused to take the so-called “Hitler oath” after he was drafted into the German army. He was subsequently sentenced to death, and died on the way to Dachau concentration camp; he is honoured as a martyr by the Church.
“On account of his great moral and spiritual stature,” Pope Francis said following the Angelus on Sunday, Blessed Joseph “is a model for the lay faithful, especially for fathers, who we remember with great affection today.” Fathers are honoured in Italy on 19 March, the Solemnity of St Joseph, although this year, since the 19th falls on a Sunday in Lent, the feast of the patron saint of father is transferred to the following day.