Stephen vs. Franz Jägerstätter

Welcome to the Faithful Four! From an initial field of 32 saints, we are down to a holy four: Stephen, Franz Jägerstätter, Amelia Bloomer, and Florence Nightingale. The spiritual nets have been cut down and one of these saintly souls will, in a few short days, be awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

The odds-makers in Las Vegas are working overtime as people everywhere are putting their ecclesiastical coin on one of these four remaining ponies of the faith [here endeth the bizarre mixed metaphors].

While much remains a to-be-revealed penitential mystery, one thing about today’s match-up between Stephen and Franz Jägerstätter is clear: Celebrity Blogger David Hansen will be participating in the Championship Round. How are we so sure of this? For the first time ever, David will be advocating for BOTH of his remaining saints who just happen to be named Stephen and Franz.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Stephen got past Alban, Henry Budd, and Augustine of Canterbury while Franz defeated Joan of Arc, Sarah the Matriarch, and Mechtild of Magdeburg.

Throughout Lent Madness, our saintly heroes have battled via basic bios, quirks and quotes, and event kitsch. In this round, we let our remaining Celebrity Bloggers loose as they answer the question “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” In other words, they’ve been charged with letting us know why their particular saint is so awesome. We have also invited them to share their two favorite images of their saints. Away we go!


Every congregation, every ministry has had the same moment.

An opportunity arises, some great moment for ministry, and all you need are volunteers. A sign-up sheet goes out, or an announcement is made. And crickets – nothing. No one steps up.

Lots of people have great ideas. 
Many voices seem to know what is best for the church.

But what we need are people who will step up. Faithful men and women who will do the work that needs to be done, and who will say the difficult things that need to be said.

The world needs more Stephens.

When the church needed to make sure that the hungry were fed, Stephen stepped up. 
When hard truth need to be spoken to the religious establishment, Stephen stepped up.

Stephen had just a short appearance in the story of Scripture – a flash of action and conviction. But his impact and inspiration has rippled through the millennia.

Stephen’s title was “deacon” – a word that means “servant.” One who serves others. A deacon is one for whom faith is not a thing you possess – faith is a way you live, an action you take. Faith is not an impulse of the heart, but a life of actively caring for and loving the neighbor. As one of the church’s first deacons, Stephen’s example was an inspiration to all those who took up – and continue to take up – that title after him.

What would the church look like – what would the world look like – if more people were inspired by Stephen to step up. If we stopped talking, and started to make sure that our neighbor was fed, safe, healthy, and cared for?

Stepping up to act.

If that were all, it would be enough. But Stephen doesn’t make us choose between actions and words.

When he is brought before the religious institution, he speaks up – with boldness and conviction. His is the longest of all the sermons in the Book of Acts. A life of service drove Stephen to words of conviction.

Stephen could have taken the middle road. Appeased the authorities. Spoken gently. But there were things that needed to be said. And so Stephen stepped up.

As a preacher, I can’t imagine the courage Stephen needed in that moment. To know that it could cost him everything, and still to step up and say what needed to be said. What would our world look like if more people preached with Stephen’s courage?

Stepping up to speak up.

If that were all, it would be enough.

But after his service to others, after his bold words, Stephen is not done. At the very end, most courageous, most astounding of all, Stephen forgives the very people who are in the middle of making him a martyr. What would our world look like if more people reacted with Stephen’s mercy?

Stepping up to be merciful.

A life of service, courageous preaching, and mercy.

Step up, Lent Madness participant, and vote for Stephen.

David Hansen

Franz Jägerstätter

Just a year ago, I had no idea who Franz Jägerstätter was. When I was assigned to shepherd Franz through Lent Madness, I thought: “Sigh. Another one that no one has ever heard of. We won’t make it past the first round.”

Then I learned his story. Right out of the gate, I began to believe that Franz Jägerstätter should be a name known by more people. I was first struck by his martyrdom following his refusal to take the Nazi Military oath. He was a conscientious objector – a man that refused to bow to the pressures of the world even when it cost him everything.

And the more I got to know about Blessed Franz’s life, the more passionate I became about sharing his story. He was the single “no” vote in his village in the plebiscite that gave official cover to the Nazi annexation of Austria (How rare was this resistance? Across Austria, the annexation was approved with a recorded 99.7% approval). His priest and his bishop advised him to take the military oath and serve in the German army. His neighbors advised him the same. Even in Nazi prison, his home priest visited him to try and persuade him to give in. Only his wife, Franziska, supported him. Can you imagine the courage it took to not just stand for the right, but to stand so utterly alone?

For many, an awakening like Franz’s might lead to ordination or to a religious order. But Franz showed us a path that is just as important – but far less often lifted up: faithful service in the world. He remained where he was. A farmer. A spouse. A parent. A church member. A neighbor. A citizen. Franz Jägerstätter stands as an example to all of us who are called to live out holy vocations in “ordinary” life.

As I studied, Jägerstätter quickly became the example whose life inspired my faith. Then I discovered his writing. Not a theologian, Jägerstätter writes with theological clarity. Not a priest, Jägerstätter writes with pastoral insight and compassion. Not a poet, Jägerstätter writes with beauty and imagination.

In his last weeks, Jägerstätter wrote the following about his own words: “I’ll write a few words as they come to me from my heart. Although I’m writing them with my hands in chains, it is better than if my will were in chains.”

He condemned National Socialism, but cautioned against judgment against his neighbors who got caught up in the movement. He urged his readers to be passionate faith, but spoke of gentle understanding for those whose faith was not at the same place. He reflected on the dark times facing the world, but always pointed toward the light and hope of Jesus.

Taken together, his martyrdom, his life, and his writings stand as a powerful witness of faithful obedience and love during difficult times. This balance of realism and hope, of passion and compassion, of conviction and graciousness is precisely the voice needed in our world today.

David Hansen


Stephen vs. Franz Jägerstätter

  • Franz Jägerstätter (53%, 3,572 Votes)
  • Stephen (47%, 3,189 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,761

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Stephen: Stained glass in the church of Saint Louis in Saint-Louis-en-l’Isle, France. wikimedia commons:
Martyrdom of St Stephen, Bernardo Cavallino
Wikimedia commons:
Franz: Franz Jagerstatter Statue, by Bob McGovern at St Malachy Church, Philadephia, PA
Jagerstatter Stolperstein in Radegund, Austria Wikimedia commons:

165 Comments to "Stephen vs. Franz Jägerstätter"

  1. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    April 10, 2017 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    An unknown hero so worthy of emulation in this world today, Go Franz! On to Glory again!

    • Thomas G. Stama (Athanasios)'s Gravatar Thomas G. Stama (Athanasios)
      April 10, 2017 - 8:48 am | Permalink

      So agree with you. I love St. Stephen but Franz Jagerstatter is a modern example of Christian martyrdom. It would be lovely for him to receive the recognition and for us to learn from his example.

      • Carol in Uganda's Gravatar Carol in Uganda
        April 10, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

        Do agree but it is hard!

      • Janet Clifton's Gravatar Janet Clifton
        April 10, 2017 - 10:51 am | Permalink

        Agree with you. He stood his ground and responded as a Christain should in a most fearful environment.

    • Louise's Gravatar Louise
      April 10, 2017 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      So appropros for today’s world.

    • Maria H.'s Gravatar Maria H.
      April 10, 2017 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Amen for Franz!! Wish there were more of him in the world today!!

  2. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    April 10, 2017 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    So HARD!!! I am going to go with Stephen but I’ll be happy if Franz wins.

    • Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
      April 10, 2017 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      Likewise for me.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      April 10, 2017 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Exactly my thoughts! Tough choice today. As both of today’s saints demonstrate, a life of faith is full of tough choices; may we all find that courage when the time comes.

  3. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    April 10, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Go Franz! To stand so alone, extremely(!) hard!

    And his last name has the most syllables. I think I know who I will pick tomorrow 🙂 Though, I will wait for the final write ups to be sure.

  4. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    April 10, 2017 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    If anyone one is going to bring the reign of Christ, it is someone who will not study war, like Franz, who hopefully inspires others to object to war and killing. I hope to be with him, “Down by the Riverside” and “study war no more.”

  5. April 10, 2017 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Bless you, David, for your inspiring write ups for both these martyrs.

  6. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    April 10, 2017 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    I think maybe David Hansen should be sainted for two amazing write-ups–non-partisan is the word that comes to mind. But now I have to wait for some partisan rhetoric to aid me in deciding between two incredibly faithful human beings, one known for millennia, the other unknown (at least to me) until six weeks ago. Why does this never get easier???

    • April 10, 2017 - 10:31 am | Permalink

      Thank you very much!
      One of the advantages of writing for them both is that I get to continue to root for *both* of them 🙂

      • John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
        April 10, 2017 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

        I really thought that Mr. Hansen put a very sweet spin on Jagerstatter, perhaps knowing that St. Stephen’s saintliness gave him a head’s start, much like an encumber in an election. Franz and Stephen are likely sitting, whether it be “above” or “through the looking glass” from that other dimension, where some say the chosen will retain their earthly bodies as they were in their prime. Hmm, leave that alone. Thanks for the fun…

    • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
      April 10, 2017 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      I agree! And David’s eloquence on behalf of both saints is the epitome of how ALL the saints in Lent Madness are winners – just as all we participants are winners because we learn about so many amazing people.

  7. Kirk Bonamici's Gravatar Kirk Bonamici
    April 10, 2017 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Great write-ups for both Stephen and Jagerstatter. Many thanks to David Hansen. Both men show us faith in our hearts and minds should be carried to faith in our acts, and how to be better people for those who need our help and those we strive to understand better. Tough choice (as will be true in our each of our final matchups), but went with Franz in a near tossup.

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      April 10, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      With just a couple of tweaks, that write-up of Stephen could be a lovely homily on St. Stephen’s Day!

    • April 10, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Kirk! There’s just something about those double umlauts, isn’t there?

      • Kirk Bonamici's Gravatar Kirk Bonamici
        April 10, 2017 - 11:42 am | Permalink

        Yes, but I can’t figure out how to do that on my keyboard!

        • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
          April 10, 2017 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

          You have to use “insert symbol” (Windows) or “special characters” (Mac) from the menu options. Or you can be lazy and use copy & paste to get the ä you want.

          I got it easy, on my iPhone I just hold down the A key and pick the ä out of the different options (a à á â ä æ ã å ā).

  8. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    April 10, 2017 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    This is truly a hard choice today – the life of Franz is an example for our modern Christian world – however, Stephen has stood as that same example since the first century church. His example has guided Christians through the ages. While, this is a very hard choice, I will stay with my favorite from the beginning. Go Stephen!

  9. Jess's Gravatar Jess
    April 10, 2017 - 8:24 am | Permalink


    • Hugh Mitchell's Gravatar Hugh Mitchell
      April 10, 2017 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      … who needs to be better known. Deep, quiet every-day enacting of what we should do and is so hard to actually do. So resolved that it eventually lead to his death; a silent example for those around him who had his opinion but not his courage.

  10. Jerome Buescher's Gravatar Jerome Buescher
    April 10, 2017 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Today, two people who did the same things — spoke up, acted out. Sigh … What a choice.

  11. Garret's Gravatar Garret
    April 10, 2017 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    I voted for Franz because he stood alone which nobody does in this day and age.
    Go Franz!

  12. John's Gravatar John
    April 10, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Unlikely Stephen actually gave that sermon.
    Luke wrote it.
    And if he did give it, there wasn’t much good news in it, nor attempt to help the Jews understand the Jesus movement. He seemed to be trying to be offensive. He was trying to get stoned. He should have stuck to administration and caring for the poor

  13. Rosemary Beales's Gravatar Rosemary Beales
    April 10, 2017 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I have loved learning about Franz Jagerstatter and teaching my 4th graders about him. But my vote goes today to Stephen, who set the first example of martyrdom (and is one of our school’s patron saints). Rock the Golden Halo, Stephen!

  14. Cath's Gravatar Cath
    April 10, 2017 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    It’s really hard to make a deciding today, I had been planning to vote for Franz, but the write up today made me see Stephen in a different light. I think I’ll still go for Franz as his is a story that needs to be better known.

  15. Cecelia Hazen's Gravatar Cecelia Hazen
    April 10, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    I had never heard of Franz Jagerstatter until his appearance here. Franz reminds me of the hymn “The Saints of God” that points out that saints live and die among us. My given birth name is Cecelia Franz –

  16. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 10, 2017 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    For Franz Jäggerstätter and Stephen
    Tune: Lancashire, Hymnal ’82, 555, Lead on O King Eternal

    We’ve vowed to follow Jesus
    Whate’re the cost might be;
    To serve with all that’s in us
    To live the Truth we’ve seen.
    With gratitude we honor
    Those Saints who took the lead.
    They lived and died in steadfast
    Trust and integrity.

    First called to serve as deacon,
    To feed the ones in need,
    Stephen proclaimed the story
    Of Grace through centuries.
    Frustrated by the rigid
    Who feared the glorious news,
    He really let them have it!
    And died for speaking truth.

    His prayer and faith had taught him
    To know where evil lies.
    Franz would not fight and kill for
    A force malign and vile.
    His prison was his altar;
    his prayer flowed strong and free.
    He died to follow Jesus,
    Our glorious Prince of Peace.

    The witness of these martyrs
    Is still for us today.
    In face of lies and evil
    What will be our reply?
    Baptized to live and die with
    The Christ Who is our Life,
    We choose each day to follow
    In joy, in doubt, in strife.

    • Kristin's Gravatar Kristin
      April 10, 2017 - 9:02 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your gift of words, Diana! I was struggling with whom to choose, and then I read your comment. “His prison was his altar,” brought me to tears.

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      April 10, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      I’m going to miss these hymns as much as the Lent Madness voting when the Golden Halo is finally awarded!

      • Lynette's Gravatar Lynette
        April 10, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink


    • Carol in Uganda's Gravatar Carol in Uganda
      April 10, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      Please, please, please put these all in booklet form so we can appreciate them long after Lent!

      • Lynette's Gravatar Lynette
        April 10, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

        yes please!

      • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
        April 10, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

        I third the motion! And I’d buy a copy, partly to use and partly to add to my hymnal and songbook collection.

        • Diana's Gravatar Diana
          April 10, 2017 - 11:29 am | Permalink

          I”ll be making them available in PDF format, at the very least through the website of my Community, The Community of the Transfiguration ( There have been suggestions that they also be made available as a free download through the Lentorium. I’d be happy to offer that as well if the Holy and Highly Revered SEC is willing. I have neither the time nor the inclination to put them together in sellable booklet format. This Lent has been sheer gift. Writing the hymns and being part of this online community has been sheer gift. No way could I sell what has been given so freely.

          • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
            April 10, 2017 - 1:55 pm | Permalink


          • April 10, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

            I thought this year’s Lent Madness was going to be a downer–political snark, not much from Oliver, edgy humor. And there has been some of that. But then we get Diana’s hymns, the really outstanding biographical write-ups, loving replies to comments, feeling like part of a true community, kitchier kitsch. And I agree with Diana–2017 Lent Madness has been a sheer gift.

          • Lucretia Jevne's Gravatar Lucretia Jevne
            April 10, 2017 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

            The gift this Lent is the beautiful hymns you have given us. Thank you for these blessings

    • April 10, 2017 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Oh, this is just lovely!

  17. Sarah Wisniewski's Gravatar Sarah Wisniewski
    April 10, 2017 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    A big fan of Franz but husband is a deacon so…..

  18. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    April 10, 2017 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    It is important to never allow the ‘normalization’ of evil into our life. I can’t imagine how hard it was for Franz to cast the only ‘no’ vote. May we all prepared for ordinary ministry when we are tested.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 10, 2017 - 9:00 am | Permalink

      Well said, Amy.

  19. April 10, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Wow. Tough choice. Both are worthy. I went for Franz. Here’s more on him:ägerstätter

  20. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    April 10, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Very hard choice; but I think Franz deserves the recognition now.

  21. Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
    April 10, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Stephen is my vote all the way 😀

  22. Judith's Gravatar Judith
    April 10, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Hardest choice yet, and I am going to through my day of hospital work while I pray about it before I vote. Though, as the SEC says, they are all in Heaven; we are doing this for us, not them.

    • John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
      April 10, 2017 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Ahhh, but Heaven. The separation is only “paper thin”. I would just assume they are right here with us through each thought and action. Though we will never likely have their challenge, God willing, we still have tests of conscience, standing up to bullies of any kind, taking the next step. This is for them, for their honor. Love in action.

  23. April 10, 2017 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Beautiful, Diana!
    And Greetings to Howard, who sent a responding comment days ago, which I only recently saw (That’s how I deal with LM Withdrawal, by reading old comments).

  24. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    April 10, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    What truly thoughtful and powerful write-ups we have today!

  25. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 10, 2017 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Franziska Jagerstatter ought to get a few votes, too. Franz was a true hero who had the courage to stand alone against insane (a word I use deliberately) pressure. She stood by him, supported him even when his brave and principled stance for holy truth meant she had to risk visiting him in prison, (which was not exactly a safe move for her) even when she knew his death would leave her a widow with children to raise and very few resources due to his actions. Franz is a saint for our times, but we should not forget Franziska.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 10, 2017 - 9:06 am | Permalink

      Here’s a link to an article about Franziska, written after her death.

      • Emily's Gravatar Emily
        April 10, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

        Thank you for the link. To have a glimpse of her was wonderful. It brings Franz out of history and into the now. He is a contemporary. This stuns me. Would I be able to make this choice?

    • Irene Lawrence's Gravatar Irene Lawrence
      April 10, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      Diana, thank you for your link about Franziska. While full of admiration for Franz, I couldn’t help thinking, every round, “But what about Franziska and the kids?” They seem to have survived the war, but at what cost? They deserve a place in the bracket, too!

    • April 10, 2017 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes! The story of Franziska is deeply moving

  26. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    April 10, 2017 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Where’s Team Deacon this morning? Put down the dishes, tell the widows and orphans you’ll be back in a second, and go vote!

  27. marie jones's Gravatar marie jones
    April 10, 2017 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    I vote for Stephen Franz. . . er, Franz Stephen. . .er, Oh, cheese and crackers! David has done such an insightful job of writing up these two inspirational characters, how does one choose between them? First martyr or martyr for our times? Men of conviction whose very stance convicted them to persecution and martyrdom. An analysis of the names doesn’t help sway my decision (and don’t we all just KNOW the fate of the world rests on OUR decision!?) Heaven help us all!

  28. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    April 10, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Cast a sentimental vote for Stephen, but it’s very ok if Franz takes the win today. This was really a hard choice!

  29. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    April 10, 2017 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Finally decided on Franz, but totally okay with Stephen. The deciding factor was Franz’s generosity toward those who disagreed with his stance, which wasn’t a feature of Stephen’s diatribe. Love for frail humanity can get a person killed, it seems…as Holy Week begins, a thought to ponder.

  30. Donice Gilliland's Gravatar Donice Gilliland
    April 10, 2017 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Two very worthy winners (actually 4!) but only one Golden Halo to be awarded! Come on, Franz! Given the world we live in today, I fear Franz’s is the example we most need and my vote is with him all the way.

  31. April 10, 2017 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Stephen has been my vote until now. I did not vote for Franz but this time the write up really resonated with me as I likened it to the events of today. Standing up is hard even with a group behind you. Standing by yourself is incredible. Go Franz and be an example for all of us to stand up for what we believe is right.

    • Meg's Gravatar Meg
      April 10, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      I agree – the write-up about Stephen stepping up and DOING was wonderful – but the problem that action addresses is perennial. Today we face a different, more acute problem, going with the crowd even when the crowd have become blinkered and roughshod authoritarian, and someone needs to stand up to the evil that is flickering around our political and protection personnel. We need to recognize those whose witness comes without rank or title, just “ordinary” people like Franz who stand up for what we believe is right. If the election had gone differently, I might not feel so strongly, but Franz has my vote for this time and place.

  32. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    April 10, 2017 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Franz all the way to the Golden Halo!

  33. Betsy Hess's Gravatar Betsy Hess
    April 10, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    We have a Deacon and a lay person, both equally saintly. I am voting for the lay person, because saints give us an example of living a holy life. Upholding a lay saint will be encouragement to all lay people to carry out our Baptismal covenant. We lay people are called to be Christ’s body in the world, just as the ordained are. Given the turmoil in the world today, we may be called on sooner rather than later to make courageous decisions as we follow the way of Jesus.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 10, 2017 - 9:45 am | Permalink

      Thank you Betsy. Even though I’m a priest, very few things get me hotter under the collar than the notion that ordained people are the ones who do ministry and lay people receive it. The most loving and powerful ministers/witnesses I know are people living their Baptismal Covenant mindfully, day in and day out, outside the church buildings.

  34. Megan Devlin's Gravatar Megan Devlin
    April 10, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    This was a hard one– original martyr versus modern martyr. Had to choose Franz because of the ‘everyman’ element; he is a model for us all.

  35. Nancy C.'s Gravatar Nancy C.
    April 10, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Wow, this was a tough choice….but “better that my hands be in chains than my will” did it for me – go faithful and courageous Franz!

    • Paul's Gravatar Paul
      April 10, 2017 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I, for one, enjoy being in chains.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        April 10, 2017 - 9:21 pm | Permalink


  36. John Lark's Gravatar John Lark
    April 10, 2017 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    This will be the first vote I will be truly disappointed on, if Franz doesn’t get the win. He truly does deserve it.

  37. Ruth W.Davis's Gravatar Ruth W.Davis
    April 10, 2017 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Love both of them and the write-ups are wonderful. Voted for Franz. Since last year’s winner was Bonhoeffer, it would be terrific if Franz joined him with a Golden Halo. Two men of integrity in a time of capitulation.

    • Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
      April 10, 2017 - 11:44 am | Permalink

      Interesting — I feel exactly the opposite. Since Bonhoeffer won last year, this year it would be good to recognize a different expression of faith. I’m actually not over Martin Luther having lost; I was sure the Golden Halo would be his in this 500th anniversary year.

      • April 10, 2017 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I think Luther had far too much baggage to win: his anti-Semitism, his bitter language toward his theological opponents, etc.

  38. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    April 10, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    These saints have the same passionand clarity of purpose–two thousand years apart. Thank you, David, for both of these well written mini-biographies. A hard choice!!

  39. Sarah Pope's Gravatar Sarah Pope
    April 10, 2017 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    A two-hankie day. Because I attend a church where people stepping up is a real problem, I lean toward Stephen, but I have been captivated by Franz (and his wife) since Round 1. I will vote for Franz today (thinking that a vote for one is really a vote for Franz and his wife), and thank David for the masterful write-ups.

  40. April 10, 2017 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    “This balance of realism and hope, of passion and compassion, of conviction and graciousness is precisely the voice needed in our world today.”

  41. Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
    April 10, 2017 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Such a hard choice! Both men of faith, integrity, passion, and compassion. I went with Franz because he gives a modern face op what we profess and challenge ourselves and each other to live out, but I was torn.
    David, may I share your write-ups with my congregation?

    • Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
      April 10, 2017 - 9:49 am | Permalink

      … a modern face to what we profess

    • April 10, 2017 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Of course you may! You may want to check their first round write-ups as well, which have a little more biographical info.

  42. Carey's Gravatar Carey
    April 10, 2017 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    By far the most difficult decision in Lent madness but in the end I voted for Franz but if Stephen wins that is OK too. We need more people today to stand up.

  43. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    April 10, 2017 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I am partial to Franz because he spoke truth to power in times chillingly similar to our times. But I had to go with Stephen on this one, the protomartyr throughout the centuries. But I am with those who would be happy with either one–I already know I am voting for either Amelia or Florence on Spy Wednesday.

  44. Dorothy's Gravatar Dorothy
    April 10, 2017 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Man, this was an impossible choice! On the other hand, at this stage, pretty much all of the choices are impossible. So many lessons for today’s sometimes cold world. Go Franz. (But I will also be happy if Steven makes it through!)

  45. Lee W.'s Gravatar Lee W.
    April 10, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    I am in discernment for the diaconate. Part of my process has been learning about deacons past and present who serve Christ in the poor, the marginalized and the forgotten. So in honor of deacons, my vote goes to the first deacon and martyr, Stephen.

  46. April 10, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    This was SO hard! I was convinced I was going to go all the way with Stephen, but Blessed Franz is such an example for us today that he may be the one for me all the way to the Golden Halo!

  47. April 10, 2017 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Nicely written, David. It’s Stephen for me!

  48. Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
    April 10, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    What a feat of rhetoric, to argue so persuasively for both candidates. David, I want to attend your church to hear what must be stirring homilies. Thank you for these.

    • April 10, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

      We would love to have you worship with us any Sunday 🙂

  49. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    April 10, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    One of our dearest friends, a beautiful, powerful Christian soul and valiant prayer warrior, went home to be with the Lord on Friday. In Inez’s memory, I vote for Stephen.

  50. April 10, 2017 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you, David Hansen, for two masterpieces today! I first read an article about Franz a good many years ago. It said that many people, especially young people, made pilgrimages to his grave and considered him a saint. The article stated that this was the way the early saints were chosen to be saints, by public acclaim (like Saint Agnes and so many others). The Catholic Church seemed to be slow to act because of fears of political issues, not wanting to offend all those Austrians, etc. So I was delighted when Franz was beatified and especially delighted that his widow Franziska lived to see that. And yes, I think she should be beatified/canonized as well. Franz’s heroic sacrifice makes me think of that question, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

  51. Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
    April 10, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    Franz is certainly a Saint for our times. May we have the courage to stand for what is right.

  52. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    April 10, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    I just can’t let go of Franz. This world needs more like him today. GO FRANZ!

  53. Dutton in Madison, GA's Gravatar Dutton in Madison, GA
    April 10, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    As a Deacon, I proudly cast my vote for Stephen, who I have always viewed as an icon for my own ministry – and on whom I have preached more than once. However, Franz certainly is a modern example of the best of diaconal mimistry. I confess I will not be disappointed if he wins.

    Too many times this year ancient and modern heros of the faith with somewhat similar stories have been paired. Too many hard choices.

  54. Alli's Gravatar Alli
    April 10, 2017 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    I feel that Herr Jagerstatter was emulating Stephen. He set an example. He said what needed to be heard, and his words ran counter to the prevailing thought at that time and in that place. His words and his story are still resonant in the current world climate. Beautiful ripple effect, from one saint to another.

  55. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    April 10, 2017 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    It’s almost a coin-flipping choice–that’s a method, not a curse–but I went with Stephen because he was noticeably, though not terribly, behind at 8:00 a.m. PDT. Also, if I remember correctly, he’s one of the earliest Christians to get this far in the contest. (I’ll go check on that.)
    But like so many others, I won’t be sad if Franz gets the nod; he certainly deserves it, too.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      April 10, 2017 - 11:21 am | Permalink

      Oops! Mary Magdalene won in 2012. Just checked the “Wall of Fame” on the Lent Madness website.

  56. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    April 10, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    What a great idea, SEC. That would hold down your petty and not-so bickering for awhile, maybe.

  57. Rose Mahan's Gravatar Rose Mahan
    April 10, 2017 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    I, too, thought the comments today were more gracious than some in previous days. That may be because of the fine write up by David Hansen. My church has a Lenten Madness group and whoever chooses the most winners and the winner of the Golden Halo gets recognized. So we are honor bound to vote as we said we would before it started on Ash Wed. But since no one I voted for made it this far, today I can vote as I wish. It’s a very hard choice. Throughout the Madness, I have voted for the person I thought made the greatest contribution to our faith and our spiritual life. Franz was a wonderful person who deserves it, but Stephen has made a tremendous impact, so he got my vote today.

  58. Deacon David O'Rourke's Gravatar Deacon David O'Rourke
    April 10, 2017 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    As a deacon, Stephen is my man, but I have found Franz’s story to be so compelling, so sadly I am defecting from Team Deacon. Next year lets make it David Oakerhater!

  59. Barbara J. Ruhe's Gravatar Barbara J. Ruhe
    April 10, 2017 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    I am still bummed out about Martin Luther–well I suppose he is getting enough recognition this year. My mother grew up under Hitler and that regime and war shaped who I am as a person and my faith—so Franz is my guy.

  60. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 10, 2017 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    I voted for David Hansen this round.

  61. Bob P.'s Gravatar Bob P.
    April 10, 2017 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    Franz is more contemporary and therefore strikes a (my) nerve in my world today.

    I commend both bloggers for their presentation of two ordinary yet exceptional individuals. The bloggers have provided inspirational and instructional lessons for us other commoners.

    • Mefster's Gravatar Mefster
      April 10, 2017 - 11:40 am | Permalink

      Are you saying that David Hansen has a split personality?

  62. Ralph Mack's Gravatar Ralph Mack
    April 10, 2017 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    I had Franz winning Lent Madness from the beginning, the same as I had North Carolina winning in my “other” bracket. The second one worked out pretty good.

  63. Mefster's Gravatar Mefster
    April 10, 2017 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    It is thought provoking to look at the modern-day picture of Franz’s farmhouse in the Wikipedia article and then to look at the picture in the Google image gallery of him astride the motorcycle in that exact same front yard with his family around him and the farmhouse in the background. It brings him to life and reminds us, “they lived not only in ages past, there are hundreds of thousands still…for the saints of God are just folks like me”

  64. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 10, 2017 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    A most difficult decision. I was all set to vote for Stephen, but Franz sets an example that is powerful. I hope I can find that kind of courage if I should ever need it. I still haven’t decided…

  65. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    April 10, 2017 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    ‘Jägerstätter spent his time in prison devoted to prayer: “There is practically nothing to do here in the prison, but that does not mean that I have to let my days pass by without putting them to some use. As long as I can pray, and there is plenty of time for that, my life is not in vain.”’

  66. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    April 10, 2017 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    In the Acts of the Apostles Stephen is not called a “deacon.” He and the others of the seven were set apart for service (diakonia) and to serve (diakonein), but he and the Seven are not given the title “deacon.” What Stephen actually is recorded as doing in Acts doesn’t seem to be the traditional diaconal ministry but rather performing wonders and signs and preaching eloquently with power and wisdom. His death as the first martyr and his final prayer for forgiveness for his persecutors, following the example of the Lord, make him my candidate for the Golden Halo this year

  67. April 10, 2017 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I voted for both of these saints in ever round leading up to this one. Both are worthy, I think , of the Golden Halo. But Franz truly speaks to me today, in our increasingly dangerous world, and I look to him as a model of peaceful protest. Therefore it’s Franz for me.

  68. Margaret Lillie's Gravatar Margaret Lillie
    April 10, 2017 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad the website is down. I’m finding this a difficult choice. They both have halos as far as I’m concerned.

  69. April 10, 2017 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    At this moment, ONE vote separates the two men! Oh, how I want Franz on my cup! He’s truly the martyr of our times.
    I’m glad to have met this gentle man of walking faith and look forward to reading his writings.

  70. Leo's Gravatar Leo
    April 10, 2017 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    After reading these two sentences, I’m voting for Franz. “I’ll write a few words as they come to me from my heart. Although I’m writing them with my hands in chains, it is better than if my will were in chains.”
    Peace to all.

  71. Noreen Ramsden's Gravatar Noreen Ramsden
    April 10, 2017 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    South Africa is going through a dark frightening place at present with leaders who share a Nazi outlook.
    As a conscientious objector, a child-rights activist and believing that ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ -” a person is a person through people” I must vote for Franz!

  72. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    April 10, 2017 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    This could get to a matchup between Florence and Stephen…

  73. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    April 10, 2017 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Stephen has always greatly disturbed me. He does not seem a good role model. He says stuff calculated to outrage his audience, and he essentially commits suicide by mob. Of course, we are conditioned to see this as heroic. Whatever we think of it, this example has doubtless inspired others to lash out at their oppressors, convinced that this is the true way to witness to “those people.” And — let’s be honest, at last — it does not bring anyone to Christ. It merely provokes. It is smug, self-righteous and holier-than-thou.
    I suspect Stephen was a good kid. He would have, given the time and opportunity, have become a fine Xtian witness. Unfortunately, he seems to have said stuff that got him killed. We can’t know if the crowd was going to kill him, no matter what, or if he precipitated his own death, but I do not think this is the best example of Xtian witness. One has to make a lot of assumptions to get there, and I just can’t see the justification. YMMV.

  74. Patricia Chambers's Gravatar Patricia Chambers
    April 10, 2017 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Really hard choice between the two, especially remembering my father being a deacon prior to his ordination as an Episcopal priest, so I understand the significance of Stephen as a deacon and his martyrdom like Franz.
    But Franz got my vote. He stood up to a modern day evil as Stephen did centuries before. I doubt I would have learned about Franz had he not been mentioned here. I’ve studied the Holocaust for some time and Franz had not appeared in my studies.

  75. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    April 10, 2017 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Franz. David Hansen’s write up of both of these men was really lovely and inspiring. Very hard choice but Franz got recognition he deserved.
    Stephen was a Bible star already.

  76. Rita OConnor's Gravatar Rita OConnor
    April 10, 2017 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Franz’s example is needed in this modern day world filled with dictators, terrorism, and hatred. His example shows the strength of spirit as well as character needed in our current world to overcome these challenges. Franz all the way!

  77. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 10, 2017 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    The connection was jammed for a long time this morning as I was trying to vote (once). I blame the Russians.

  78. Cindy Lufkin's Gravatar Cindy Lufkin
    April 10, 2017 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    These 2 entries seem almost the same: not only because they were written by the same Celebrity Blogger, but because these men did almost the same things.

    I voted for Stephen because he was the first martyr, but because of the events of this weekend: many of those killed in the first 3 pews were deacons.

    We need to realize that in today’s world climate, martyrdom for one’s faith is a real possibility, even if the chance of that is not great in our little corner of the world.

    • John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
      April 10, 2017 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Amen Cindy! We seem to put saints on a pedestal when what they did and lived was to settle down into the muck and mud of their times. It seems to me the fear of stepping out in opposition carries with it the chance of being put into the government’s book of opposition, to gain a dossier so to speak as a radical or rabble rouser, something that in times past could have landed one in prison or lead to ostracism at the very least. Ostracism from the “mainstream” could lead to economic sanctions. It is all very real today, and needful to lay out the groundwork for future, perhaps harder, objections.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 10, 2017 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

      “I voted for Stephen because he was the first martyr, but because of the events of this weekend: many of those killed in the first 3 pews were deacons.”
      What? Where? More information please!

      • Deacon Mildred's Gravatar Deacon Mildred
        April 11, 2017 - 12:47 am | Permalink

        Perhaps the reference is to the Egyptian Coptic Christians who were killed during worship.

  79. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    April 10, 2017 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    What a difficult decision today. However, I cast my vote for Stephen in thanksgiving for the parish church of St Stephen who have nurtured our faith as a family over the past eight years, provided us with opportunities for service and ministry, and prayerfully and lovingly supported us through the move to a new parish across the country.

  80. LauraT's Gravatar LauraT
    April 10, 2017 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Go Stephen Go!

  81. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 10, 2017 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I finally decided to vote for Franz because he did not have the support of the church. A saint to me is someone who inspires me to be more than I am. I have stepped up. The church needs senior wardens, and singers, and Sunday school teachers, and altar guild, and kitchen cleaners, and people to tell the clergy how it really is. I’ve done that. (Not under threat of stoning) I’m not sure I could do what Franz did. Thus he gets my vote.

  82. Melissa Ridlon's Gravatar Melissa Ridlon
    April 10, 2017 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, David, for making this such a difficult choice. I’m going with Franz because it gives me hope that “there are hundreds of thousands still.”

  83. Rosie's Gravatar Rosie
    April 10, 2017 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    My heart is sad. I can’t vote for both. Two great examples for our time. I had to vote for Franz. He lived what the Bible required and was not fooled by false prophets.

    “Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”Luke 21:36 (NTL)

    • John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
      April 10, 2017 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

      A vote for Franz is a vote for Stephen Rosie. Surely Franz knew of Stephen’s martyrdom, never thinking it might come to that in his life. Stephen would fully support praising Franz and any that should choose to hold their faith in times of challenge. Don’t forget that both of these men had the example of Jesus, the help of the holy comforter, the risen Christ, and our God, by their side. Many say that as one approaches death they kind of have one foot in each world and these gentlemen would likely have already been in the hands of the Holy Savior at the time of their martyrdom. I would like to think this is the case.

  84. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    April 10, 2017 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

    My vote goes to David! And Diana!

  85. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    April 10, 2017 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Yikes, so close. If they tie, what next? A swimsuit round?

  86. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    April 10, 2017 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    David Hansen’s write ups certainly made the choice harder, as it is clear both men gave much and both men set challenging examples. Their lives made it clear that LIVING one’s faith is very important, and shows the true measure of their faith and beliefs. I made the choice for Franz because of the parallels with the times in which we are living. To me, his is the path we need to follow, speaking out against the current powers that be and remain true to Jesus’ example of love and forgiveness and helping our fellow brothers and sisters.

  87. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    April 10, 2017 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The world needs more Stephens.

  88. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    April 10, 2017 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Both write-ups excellent and inspiring! A breath of fresh air after all the trivial kitsch, for which I admit I have no use.

  89. Art's Gravatar Art
    April 10, 2017 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Remember, you don’t have to die to be a martyr=witness. Sometimes it’s harder to be a live witness than a dead one.

  90. John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
    April 10, 2017 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I am so enthralled of the Christian witness that is brought out in these comments. Kudos all!

  91. Patty's Gravatar Patty
    April 10, 2017 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Excellent write-up on both! Hard to choose, but finally picked Frank, because Stephen is already well known.

  92. Bill B.'s Gravatar Bill B.
    April 10, 2017 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Franz gets my vote! Watch a great video on YouTube – “The Refusal”.

  93. April 10, 2017 - 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I thought this year’s Lent Madness was going to be a downer–political snark, not much from Oliver, edgy humor. And there has been some of that. But then we get Diana’s hymns, the really outstanding biographical write-ups, loving replies to comments, feeling like part of a true community, kitchier kitsch. And I agree with Diana–2017 Lent Madness has been a sheer gift.

  94. Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
    April 10, 2017 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    “Franz Jägerstätter stands as an example to all of us who are called to live out holy vocations in ‘ordinary’ life.’ Franz (and Stephen) show us true martyrdom in the midst of daily living. My vote for Franz does not diminish Stephen in any way. Franz shows us in modern day how we may live out Stephen’s sacrifice.

  95. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 10, 2017 - 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a link to a film about Franz Jaggerstatter. It’s black and white, in German, with English subtitles. Worth watching.

  96. April 10, 2017 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Good choice today. Voted for each of them three times in the previous rounds.

    Voted for Franz Jägerstättter today, as I believe the nature of his martyrdom is profoundly relevant to our situation today.

    Looking forward to voting for Florence Nightingale tomorrow.

  97. Kandice's Gravatar Kandice
    April 10, 2017 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    “Franz Jägerstätter stands as an example to all of us who are called to live out holy vocations in “ordinary” life.”

    For someone who is trying to figure out my own calling in this world this statement is huge!! Go Franz!!

  98. Danita Shaw's Gravatar Danita Shaw
    April 10, 2017 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Go Franz go…

  99. Megan O Jones's Gravatar Megan O Jones
    April 10, 2017 - 8:33 pm | Permalink

    NOOOOOO! This is impossible! Both of these men stood up for what was right against the powers of the times they lived in. How can I choose? I’m seriously considering flipping a coin.

    • Megan O Jones's Gravatar Megan O Jones
      April 10, 2017 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

      I went for Stephen, because he was trailing.

  100. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    April 10, 2017 - 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for including the image of Franz Jägerstätter’s Stolperstein.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 10, 2017 - 9:44 pm | Permalink

      I put the text from his Stolperstein into Google Translate and got:

      Here lived
      Franz Jagerstätter
      Because of
      ‘Wehrmacht decomposition’
      Hinedicht 9.8.1943

      So do we have anyone here in LM-land who can improve the translation?

      • April 10, 2017 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

        The Stolperstein monuments mark the lives of those killed by the Nazi regime – they are placed not where they died, but at the last place that they choose to live. So this one is in Jägerstätter’s hometown in Austria.

        Here lived Franz Jägerstätter
        Born in 1907
        (Died) because of
        Sedition / subverting the war effort / undermining moral
        Executed August 9, 1943
        (in) Berlin

  101. Rhee Howard's Gravatar Rhee Howard
    April 10, 2017 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

    It seems that Lent Madness voters tend to prefer the more modern saints, even over the saints of the Bible. Maybe it’s easier to understand and relate to people closer to us in time and culture, and probably easier to find information about them. But those who have been remembered and respected and have set a holy example for centuries and millenia deserve to be taken all the more seriously.
    My point is, vote for Stephen!

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 10, 2017 - 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Stephen is more well known and remembered which is why Franz Jägerstätter got my vote, since more need to know of his example.

      This year a tiny family owned and ran newspaper in a small town in NE Iowa got the Pulitzer for editorial writing. The paper’s editor was not afraid to take on big Ag and write editorials exposing shady doings. Those who toil in obscurity are not always rewarded. This year Art Cullen and the Storm Lake Times (who were chosen over finalists from the Washington Post and Houston Chronicle) were and so should Franz Jägerstätter (not with a Pulitzer, but with a Golden Halo.)

      • Donna's Gravatar Donna
        April 10, 2017 - 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Right On!

  102. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    April 10, 2017 - 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Franz. Standing against evil and writing from the heart with hands in chains. (Also for Franziska). His “faithful service in the world. He remained where he was. A farmer. A spouse. A parent. A church member. A neighbor. A citizen. Franz Jägerstätter stands as an example to all of us who are called to live out holy vocations in “ordinary” life. ” I also liked the image of his statue and his Stolperstein.

  103. Linda Dunn's Gravatar Linda Dunn
    April 10, 2017 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Many votes ago, I remember thinking ‘Franz who? Knocked of my chosen saint’ . No although a great lover of St. Stephen and his importance to our early church, I

  104. Linda Dunn's Gravatar Linda Dunn
    April 10, 2017 - 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Doggone it’s tough when one drops a tablet… to continue my thought…, I find myself drawn to Franz and his courageous family, his stalwart position on the sacredness of human life and refusal to bow to tyranny even on the point of dearth. His writings are beautiful in their simplicity and should become more widely known . Thank you, Franz.

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