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On the new Edition of the Martyrology Zeugen Fuer Christus

Zeugen Fuer Christus -- Zur Neuauflage des Martyrologiums

"On the new Edition of the Martyrology Zeugen Fuer Christus." Volk aud dem Weg, December 2005, 21.

Translation from the original German text to American English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado


After long years of strenuous research, the two-volume work "Zeugen fuer Christus: Das deutsche Martyrologium des 20. Jahrhunderts [Witnesses for Christ: the German Martyrology of the 20th Century]" appeared in 1999 and was published by Prelate Helmut Moll, on behalf of the German Conference of Catholic Bishops, by the Schoeningh Verlag Paderborn/Municn/Vienna/Zurich.

For that extraordinary edition, research had been done on over 700 martyrs of the Catholic faith, among them 73 German-Russian priests of the Tirsapol/Saratov Diocese, which our Organization for the Care of Souls of Catholic Germans from Russia, put together. Since the book quickly sold out, there followed a second and a third edition.

This work, among others, was exhibited during the Twentieth World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, as part of a larger exhibit on blood witnesses of the 20th Century, in the Spiritual Center of the St. Ursula Basilica. Visitors showed great interest in this work. The exhibit had personally been prepared and was guided by Prelate Moll, and several display boards documented the effort that had gone into this book.

Preparation for a fourth edition has just been completed. Since several names were added in the meantime, an additional, third volume addendum is planned. Our group has added 14 names of German-Russian priests (Johannes Albert, Emanuel Bader, Valentin Boechler, Michael Brungardt, Alexander Daubner, Peter Duckart, Nikodemus Ihly, Wladimir Kloepfer, Emanuel Mokelki, Josef Rosenbach, Alois Schoenfeld, Kajob Schoenfeld, Florian Schulz, Alexnader Staub) and, for the first time, four German-Russian lay people (Josef Eberle, Josef Erler, Josef Frank, Magdalene Frison) are also being included. An American translation is also being prepared, and we are participating in it.

On Jan. 6, 2001, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, the chair of the Liturgical Commission of the German Conference of Bishops, Cardinal Joachim Maisner, in a talk at the Cologne Cathedral, commented: "We Germans have collected, in two volumes, [documentation on] 700 martyrs. This is the hard won ration which we will carry across the threshold of the new millennium, and which we wish to put into the hands of our youth. With this group of faith witnesses we can enter the new millennium erect and with our heads held high. (...) I would heartily encourage everyone to purchase the two-volume work, and whenever they feel discouraged and depressed, to open one of the volumes and to observe in what sorts of situations faith won out during those years that were experienced even by many of us." (Citation from a circular by Prelate Moll dated February 12, 2003.)

[Organization for] The Care of Souls of Catholic Germans from Russia

Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.

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