Posted by: fvbcdm | April 20, 2015

Catholic Daily Message for the Feast of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano (20 April 2015)

On this date in the year 1883—[132] years ago—my father was born in a farm house along Bayou Little Caillou in the extreme south of Louisiana, just about ten miles from the Gulf of Mexico.  Six years later, on the same date, a child was born in Austria. He came to be known to the world as Adolf Hitler—one of the most feared and hated men in the history of mankind.

My father’s life span and that of Hitler were almost exactly contemporaneous. My father lived for fifty-five years, dying in an automobile accident in 1938. Adolf Hitler lived for fifty-six years, dying by his own hand in a subterranean bunker in Berlin as the Russian army came pouring into the war-devastated city in 1945.

My father was a good man; everyone who knew him attested to that.  I regret that I couldn’t have known him better, since I was only eight years old when he died. Hitler was an evil man—the principal cause of World War II, and of the deaths of some thirteen million people, including the six million Jews he murdered because of his rabid anti-Semitism.  Those who knew him well reported that during his youth and adult life, he would not tolerate correction or contradiction, and used to become nearly hysterical if anyone openly disagreed with him.

Both of them were baptized Catholics. My father remained faithful to Our Lord and the Church all his life. Hitler drifted away from the Church during his youth and came to be indifferent to Christ and to hate the Church since it opposed him.

I have sometimes been asked, “Do you think that Hitler is in hell?” I hope not; the loss of any human being would be a great tragedy. Toward the end of his life, Hitler was very obviously deranged mentally and was addicted to drugs. I hope that the mercy of God could even find excuses to open the gates of heaven for that man who was so merciless to so many others.

My great-grandfather was a German Jew; that makes me one-eighth Jewish. Had I been born in Europe rather than in this country, I might well have been sent by order of Hitler to a death camp. But because Hitler and my father were such different kinds of men, I was often taken to Mass by my father who attended Mass every day when he could. And today I am a Catholic priest rather than a statistic of Auschwitz.

I pray for them both today. I hope that my father has long since been admitted into the fullness of eternal life, and that even Hitler might, by the power of the Jewish blood shed upon the cross at Calvary, be in heaven today or sometime before the final judgment of all mankind. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.


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