Since my high school days I have been fascinated by the stories of those who risked their lives to rescue Jews in Nazi occupied Europe. Their witness continues to inspire me to speak and act for justice.
On June 2, 1945, Père Jacques (Lucien-Louis Bunel), French Carmelite priest, died in Linz, Austria, after being released from the Mauthausen concentration camp. He helped rescuer Jewish boys in the Petit-Collège of Avon, died in Linz, Austria, after release from Mauthausen concentration camp, 1945. The beautiful French film “Au revoir, mes infants” tells the story of this courageous friar.
In a retreat he gave in September 1943, he noted:
To see Christ, we must do as Zaccheus did. We must become poor. Formerly, the weight of wealth overpowered him and prevented him from rising. Riches drag down the soul. One has to become small in stature, that is, detached from the goods of the world, for such riches foster earthly desires. As you are well aware, St. John of the Cross warns, ‘Whether one is attached by a silken thread or a golden cable, the result is the same: one cannot soar to the heights.’