Nagasaki, WW2 martyrs, conscientious objectors remembered

Nagasaki atomic bomb victims were among those remembered on Tuesday at a prayer service in the Crypt Chapel of Westminster Cathedral.

Besides marking the anniversary of  Nagasaki’s victims, the service also recalled the execution of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter in 1943 for refusing to serve in Hitler’s army, and included prayers for all conscientious objectors and those who work for peace.

Organised by Pax Christi, the service was attended by Christians of many denominations as well as representatives from the Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu communities.

Jagerstatter was beatified in October 2007. There were prayers, reflections and readings from some of his letters.

Another World War Two conscientious objector was also remembered at the service.

Josef Mayr-Nusser (27 December 1910 – 24 February 1945) was an Italian Roman Catholic who served as the President of the Saint Vincent de Paul Conference of the Bolzano division as well as a member of Catholic Action.

He is known best for refusing to recite the Hitler oath after he was drafted as a Nazi soldier and was sentenced to death at the Dachau concentration camp; he died en route to the camp in 1945.

Pope Francis approved his beatification on 8 July 2016 and he will be beatified in Bolzano on 18 March 2017.

The service was followed by the Peace Walk from Westminster Cathedral to the London Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park.

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News category: World.

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