“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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23rd MAY - FEAST OF BL VILMOS APOR, Martyr of Our Order

Blessed Vilmos Apor
Chaplain of the Order of Malta, Bishop, Martyr
Memorial

Vilmos (William) Apor, born 1892, was an Hungarian bishop who earned a special reputation for his service to the poor, especially during the months of hardship that came at the end of World War II. Named Bishop of Gÿor in 1941, he chose as his motto: “The Cross strengthens the weak and makes the strong gentle.” During the many air raids he opened his home to those whose houses had been destroyed. When Russian troops entered the city in 1945, many women including religious took refuge in his episcopal residence. 

On Good Friday 1945 three Russian soldiers came to the residence and demanded that the women be taken to their barracks. Monsignor Apor refused and placed himself in front of the women. One of the Russians shot and wounded him. Out of fear they then fled, leaving the women unmolested. Bishop Apor lived in great agony for three days and died on 2 April, Easter Monday.

On 9 April 1947, Cardinal Mindszenty wrote to Father Csavossy, the postulator for the cause: 'I can assure you that now is the appropriate time to introduce the canonization procedures. I wish it and officially approve of it, and want the necessary steps to be taken to do the same for all priests who lost their lives when protecting women.' He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 9th November 1997.

Much historical information is given here.

The tomb of Blessed Vilmos in Gyor Cathedral, designed by the Hungarian artist Boldogfai Farkas Sándor

The Collect of the Mass

Almighty and Eternal God,
through your grace, Bishop William,
by courageously shedding his blood for his flock,
earned a martyr’s crown.
Grant that we, despite the difficulties of our daily lives,
may do your will and offer our good works
for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.