Blessed Franz Jägerstätter: A Conscientious Objector

On May 21, Franciscans honor the memory of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943), an Austrian Secular Franciscan who was a conscientious objector executed by the Nazis.

Raised in farmland

Franz was born on May 20, 1907, in the village of Sankt Radegund, Upper Austria, in a mountainous area along the German border. He was an illegitimate child, the son of Rosalia Huber, a housemaid, and a local farmer. His parents could not afford a marriage, so Franz was raised by his grandmother until 1917, when Rosalia married a prosperous farmer, Heinrich Jägerstätter, who adopted her boy.

Popular, wild young man

As a young man, Franz left home to work on a farm in another town and then in a mine. Returning to St. Radegund in 1930, Franz was a popular, somewhat wild young man, who rode about in a motorcycle and fathered an illegitimate child. However, he gradually accepted the responsibility

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