Abbé Franz Stock: a precursor to reconciliation
The Prophet Isaiah speaks about peace at the end of the days, about the Messianic Kingdom. But the kingdom of God has already begun with the arrival of the Messiah. And it is the task of those ones who profess Jesus Christ to enable people to grasp the divine peace right now.
Here at this place in our Cathedral, a man was ordained priest on 12 March 1932, a man who is considered as one precursor to the reconciliation between Germany and France, a man who contributed to the transformation of the long-lasting traditional enmity to a profound friendship: Franz Stock.
Amazon.com: Father Boniface F. Hanley, O.F.M., has produced the only English language biography of the beloved priest Franz Stock, whom the Vatican has recently placed on the road to sainthood. This biography brings the reader directly into the cataclysmic world of wartime France during the German occupation, revealing levels of horror not seen before or since, woven in with the stories of heroic resistance fighters and dastardly collaborators alike who crossed Stock's path. It is a gripping tale that ultimately shows how a single holy man of peace--caught up in a nightmare landscape of unfathomable cruelty--single handedly fought evil simply by offering an example of courage, strength, and an unwavering faith in God. Stock became one of the few Germans revered by the French people after the war, which was fitting as his life-long mission was to heal the long-festering historical wounds between Germany and France. The story of how he accomplished this mission as a chaplain in the German army is both fascinating and a testament to the power of faith and determination to overcome evil using nonviolent means.
On March 1, 1998, the festivity commenced for the 50th day of death of this German priest The pontifical mass was celebrated by the archbishop of Paris, cardinal Lustiger together with many French and German bishops. Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who had laid down a wreath on the grave of Stock in the church Saint Jean Baptiste, was present, accompanied by Monsieur Monory, president of the Senate and consequently the second man of the French state. The cathedral was filled with many faithful, among them approximately 300 Germans.