Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 29 November |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos
Daily Prayer
And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Blessed Nikolaus Gross

“As Catholic workers we reject Nazism”

NIKOLAUS GROSS

J.hagelüken

Husband, Father, and Martyr (1898-1945)

His life

+ Nikolaus was born near Essen, Germany. A tradesman who worked a plate rolling mill and later as a grinder and face-worker in a coal mine, he became involved in the Christian Miners’ Union. He soon became the representative of the young miners of the Catholic association of miners.

+ His work with the unions took him throughout Germany and he eventually settled in the Ruhr Valley. There, he married his wife, Elizabeth, and the couple had seven children. He was a devoted father who tried to raise his children to be good Catholics and faithful citizens.

+ Nikolaus became aware of the political movements within German, including the rise of Adolf Hitler. As the Nazis came to power, Nikolaus served as the editor of a German workers’ newspaper and was able to give voice to his Catholic faith as he tried to address the complicated political realities of his day. In 1930 he wrote, “As Catholic workers, we reject Nazism not only for political and economic reasons, but decisively also, resolutely and clearly, on account of our religious and cultural attitude.

+ Because of his strong stance, he was marked as an “enemy of the state” and became a target of the Nazis.

+ After years of political activism, Nikolaus was arrested on August 12, 1944. His letters from prison testify to his spirit of prayer and dedication to his family.

+ Blessed Nikolaus Gross was executed on January 23, 1945. The priest who was with him at the time of his death testified, “Gross bowed his head silently during the blessing. His face already seemed illuminated by the glory into which he was getting ready to enter.” He was beatified in 2001.

For reflection

“If we do not risk our life today, how then do we want to justify ourselves one day before God and our people.”—Blessed Nikolaus Gross

Prayer

O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Nikolaus with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
FIRST CENTURY HOUSE AT THE SISTERS OF NAZARETH SITE
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
PRAY
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things we can be grateful for this Thanksg...
EARTHQUAKE
Bret Thoman, OFS
Two earthquakes couldn't stop these Italian n...
CATHEDRAL OF THE SACRED HEART
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
6 Questions to determine if your heart is har...
VATICAN POPE GOOD FRIDAY COLOSSEUM
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with the early Church and to di...
See More