(November 8, 2013) In November 2009, Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker opened the Procedure for the Beatification of Abbe Franz Stock, a priest from the archdiocese of Paderborn (1904-1948). During the last four years, in the course of the “diocesan informative process”, documents and statements have been compiled about the life, virtues, reputation and holiness of Franz Stock, a servant of God. Finalizing the first instance of the Procedure of Beatification, Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker submitted the documents to the Roman attorney Andrea Ambrosi who, as postulator of the procedure, will pass these documents on to the Congregation for Beatification and Sanctification in Rome. These documents, consisting of 16,180 pages, include the statements of some 200 witnesses, two-thirds of whom met Franz Stock in person. For these people, Franz Stock was “their” Abbe and “their” Seminary Director.
On Saturday, November 14 th, 2009 the proceedings of beatification of Franz Stock (1904 – 1948) were opened in the Parish Church St. John the Baptist in Arnsberg-Neheim. Franz Stock was born in Neheim. He was baptised in this church and celebrated his first Holy Mass there. Many members of the congregation and many former companions of Franz Stock took part in the service. Archbishop Becker said in his sermon during the High Mass: “Franz Stock lived his vocation to follow Jesus Christ fearlessly and bravely, with patience and without weariness. He was a faithful witness for Jesus Christ who came into the world to guide to God people of all nations, races and languages. Abbé Franz Stock was a physician of the mind and a true minister who sacrificed himself without regarding his own needs and his own strength.” Hans-Josef Becker reminded his audience of the following facts:
As an apostle of mercifulness and messenger of peace he helped those plagued and desperate humans by giving comfort and light in the darkness of hatred and violence.
Due to his service as messenger of hope and his testimonial of humanity Franz Stock was an untiring master builder of reconciliation between the German and the French people.
Our Lord, filled with confidence we pray to Thee:
Make the example of his life always be present among our people so we can contribute to peace and unity of Europe.
Guide us and our church leaders in all their efforts to make your servant Franz Stock an apostle of mercifulness and messenger of your peace so that the light of his testimonial of faith will shine among us and will become a source of power for many people.
We pray to Thee through Your Son Jesus Christ, our Brother and Lord, who lives and reins with You and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker, Paderborn