23 May 2011

Blessed Vilmos Apor - Chaplain SMOM

Today is the memorial for Blessed Vilmos Apor Chaplain ad honorem of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. He was a Bishop and Martyr.

Vilmos (William) Apor, born 1892, was a 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. He was also known for his hard work, his efforts for social justice and his protection of the weak. He provided emergency supplies to Jews being deported through his town. Named Bishop of Gÿor in 1941, he chose as his episcopal motto: "Crux firmat mitem, mitigat fortem".
“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 Soviet soldiers came to the residence and demanded that the women be taken to their barracks. Bishop Apor refused and placed himself in front of the women. One of the Soviets 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 Easter Monday. His last words, "The sacrifice was worthwile".
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.


Anthony A Kalnoky said...

Our family was There, witnessed all. Bishop Blessed Martyr Baron Vilmos Apor was a Family Friend. He Baptized me April 1941. My Mother told me the Important details: 3 Drunk Soviet soldiers arrived at his Baronical and Bishop's estate as Soviet Armies swept through Hungary 1945, demanding "50 washer women", which would have included my 10 year old sister and beautiful mom. Bishop Apor went out to reason with them, likelly did block them, and was Shot 3 Times, Not once. 2 soldiers were grabbing his Watch and Bishop's Ring; the 3 Soldiers got angry, Lecturing them about stealing like that. My Father quickly found 3 men to take m ortally wounded Bishop Apor to Medical. BISHOP APOR DIED GOOD FRIDAY 1945, WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES that he Could ALSO DIE GOOD FRIDAY!, (I was 4 years old, scared, in the area). Blessed Martyr Bishop Apor was immediatelly The National Hero in Hungary, and is said to be the only Bishop Martyr of WWII (Fr Groeschell). Pope John Paul II The Great beatified him visiting Hungary in the 1990's. My birth name: Antal Sandor Hugo Maria Eleazar........Kalnoky

Anthony A Kalnoky said...

Corrections: (1) The 3rd Soviet Soldier got angry at his 2 Comrades looting mortally wounded Bishop Apor, Lectured, Argued at them!. ( My Late Mother and others Witnessed all). (2) There is a major Monument, visited by Many, at Bishop Apor's Baronical Palace site in Gyor Hungary. (3) I think it Inappropriate to call them 'Russian soldiers'; Soviet Soldiers is The Proper way.

Cavaliere said...

Anthony thank you for your comments. According to a more complete biography on Bishop Apor then the one posted here it states that while he was shot on Good Friday he did not die until Easter Monday. That bio can be found here, http://www.katolikus.hu/hun-saints/apor_en.html What a blessing for you and your family to have know such a wonderful Bishop and hopefully soon to be saint. I too have family that came from Hungary, from the town of Zemplin (sp?)


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