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Of the Imitation of Christ and Contempt of all the Vanities of the World [1]

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Aug 13, 2023, 4:13:29 AM8/13/23
Of the Imitation of Christ and Contempt of all the Vanities of the World [1]

He that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness (John 8:12), saith the
Lord. These are the words of Christ, by which we are admonished, how
we ought to imitate His life and manners, if we would truly be
enlightened, and delivered from all blindness of heart. Let therefore
our chiefest endeavour be, to meditate upon the life of Jesus Christ.
--Thomas à Kempis--Imitation of Christ Bk 1, Ch 1

August 13th – Bl. Otto Neururer

BL. OTTO NEURURER was born on 25 March 1882 in Piller, Austria, the
12th and last child of a family of peasants. In that region life has
always been hard. Otto's father died when he was still a young boy and
so responsibility for raising the children as well as for their small
farm and mill was left entirely to the mother. She was a devout and
good woman, but suffered occasional periods of depression. To some
extent Neururer inherited this tendency. He had brilliant intellectual
talents but was rather timid. By temperament he did not seem destined
to the life of a hero.

His formation was similar to that of many others born in the mountain
villages who had the opportunity to pursue higher studies. At Brixen
(Bressanone) he first attended the minor seminary and then entered the
diocesan major seminary. After completing his studies he celebrated
his first Mass in his native village.

Otto Neururer was a curate and teacher of religion in many places. At
the beginning of the century ideological and social tensions arose in
Tirol both in political and ecclesiastical circles. Fr Neururer, who
had fully understood the message or Rerum novarum, joined the
Christian Social Movement. This decision caused problems with his
higher superiors who in general adhered to more conservative views.
The difficulties which resulted caused Fr Neururer acute suffering but
they never affected his great priestly zeal.

In 1938 the Nazis occupied Tirol. Their take-over triggered the first
bloody persecution of the Church in the history of Austria. This
persecution was particularly brutal because the Nazis sensed a strong
ideological resistance on the part of the Tirolean faithful. Thousands
of people were harassed, had their civil rights curtailed, were
subjected to interrogation by the Gestapo and were thrown into prisons
and concentration camps. Many priests were condemned to death or

At that time Otto Neururer was parish priest in Gotzens, a village
near Innsbruck. Moved by a strong sense of priestly responsibility, he
advised a girl not to marry a divorced man who was leading a
notoriously dissolute life. This intervention of the parish priest
brought the revenge of the Nazi authorities. The man who had been
rejected by the girl happened to be a personal friend of the
Gauleiter, i.e., the highest Nazi authority in Tirol.

Neururer was arrested on the charge of "slander to the detriment of
German marriage" and interned first in the concentration camp of
Dachau and later in Buchenwald. The sadistic tortures to which he was
subjected caused incredible suffering, but even so he shared his
scarce food rations with prisoners who were even weaker than himself.
In the Buchenwald camp he was approached by a prisoner who asked to be
baptized. Perhaps he was an agent provocateur. Neururer suspected that
the request could be a trap, but his sense of duty did not allow him
to refuse. Two days later he was transferred to the much feared
"bunker", which in concentration camps was the place of extreme
punishment. There he was hanged upside down until he died on 30 May

Neururer was the first priest killed in a concentration camp and this
explains why his mortal remains were brought to a private crematorium.
The ashes, placed in an urn and sent to Gotzens by this crematorium,
are authentic, as further painstaking investigations also show. The
urn, in a gold mounting, will now be placed under the altar of the
parish church of Gotzens.

Bible Quote:
“It was his loving design, centered in Christ, to give history its
fulfilment by resuming everything in him, all that is in heaven, all
that is on earth, summed up in him” (Eph. 1, 9-10)

Saint Quote:
Believe that others are better than you in the depths of their soul,
although outwardly you may appear better than they.
-- Saint Augustine of Hippo


by the late Rev. Fr. Ildefonso M. Izaguirre, O. P.

Prostrated at the feet, and humiliated by my sins, but full of
confidence in thee, O Mary! I beg thee to accept the petition
my heart is about to make. It is for my last moments. Dear
Mother I wish to request thy protection and maternal love so
that in the decisive instant that thou wilt do all thy love can
suggest in my behalf.

To thee, O Mother of my soul, I consecrate THE LAST TWO
HOURS of my life. Come to my side to receive my last
breath and when death has cut the thread of my days, tell
Jesus, presenting to Him my soul, "I LOVE IT". That word
alone will be enough to procure for me the benediction of my
God and the happiness of seeing thee for all eternity.

I put my trust in thee, my Mother and hope it will not be in vain.

O Mary! Pray for thy child and lead him to Jesus!


"Abandoning the Mother is but one step
from abandoning the Son"
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