Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Meet Bl. Vilmos Apor, a bishop who died defending women

Vilmos Apor

Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 08/30/21

Bishop Apor was shot by Soviet police while defending women who were in hiding in fear of being raped.

During World War II, Bishop Vilmos Apor was a strong advocate for all the oppressed, especially Jews who were being taken away by Nazi soldiers.

He would often use his own episcopal residence to shelter those who were being persecuted, while he would use a small room for himself.

After the Nazis were driven out, the Soviet government stepped in and enacted their own atheistic regime.

Again, Apor would advocate for anyone who was being oppressed and this made him a primary enemy of the Soviets.

It all culminated on March 28, 1945, which was Good Friday that year.

Several drunken Soviet soldiers invaded his residence and were looking for women they heard were hiding there. The women were hiding in Apor’s residence in fear of being raped by the soldiers.

Apor wouldn’t give-up their location, and when a girl started to run away from her hiding place, a Soviet soldier started running after her.

Bishop Apor stepped in his way and one of the soldiers shot him. He remained alive for a few days longer, but ultimately died on April 2, 1945.

St. John Paul II praised Apor’s example at his beatification ceremony in 1997.

The intimate sharing in the mystery of Christ, the new and perfect Temple in whom full communion between God and man is realized (cf. Jn 2:21), shines forth in the pastoral service of Bl. Vilmos Apor, whose life was crowned with martyrdom. He was the “parish priest of the poor,” a ministry which he continued as a Bishop during the dark years of the Second World War, working as a generous benefactor of the needy and the defender of the persecuted. He was not afraid to raise his voice to censure, on the basis of Gospel principles, the injustices and abuses of power towards minorities, especially towards the Jewish community.

In the image of the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:11), the new blessed lived his fidelity to the paschal mystery, ultimately making the supreme sacrifice of his own life. His murder occurred precisely on Good Friday: he was shot to death while defending his flock. 

Bl. Apor’s example remains an inspiration to many in Hungary and abroad, an example of a true shepherd, willing to lay down his life for his sheep.

Tags:
Saints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
2
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
3
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
4
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
5
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
6
Cathedral Duomo
Philip Kosloski
Will souls in Hell receive resurrected bodies?
7
FATHER KAPUAN
J-P Mauro
Fr. Kapaun’s remains returned to Kansas after 70 years
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.