Tuesday 21st February 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Aloysius Stepinac

February 7, 2017 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Croatia, the crossroads of Europe where people traverse the continent from north to south and east to west, has been a land of turmoil for centuries, with many nations seeking to control its destiny. In World War I and World War II, a fiery Croatian loved this small land with all his heart and fought for the Croatians to be free from the tyranny of both the Nazis and the Communists. Blessed Aloysius Stepinac came from humble beginnings, but came to be a significant figure on the world stage.
Aloysius Viktor Stepinac was born on May 8, 1898 to Josip Stepinac and his second wife Barbara Penic. He was the fifth of nine children (plus three children from Josip’s first wife). Josip managed a vineyard in the village of Brezaric near Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. As has happened with so many priests, Aloysius’ mother prayed from the moment of his birth that he would become a priest. Josip, however, wanted his son to work in the vineyard.
At eight years of age, Aloysius moved with his family to Krasic where he finished his primary education in 1908. In 1909, he went to the Archdiocese of Zagreb for further study. He lived in the archdiocesan orphanage until he graduated from high school. Under the auspices of the archbishop, he began studies in theology as he discerned his vocation.
However, before he could pursue his preparations for the priesthood, World War I broke out and he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army. He still managed to continue his studies since he was sent to reserve officers school in Rijeka. Then, after six months of training, he was sent to the front in Italy, leading the Bosnian soldiers in 1917.
In July 1918, Aloysius was captured by the Italians, who held him prisoner. The Austro-Hungarian Army told his parents he had been killed and were thus much surprised when he was released by the Italians on December 6, 1918, and returned home.
He then joined the Yugoslav Legion engaged on the Salonika Front. Finally, with the end of the war Aloysius was released from the army as a second lieutenant.
He spent only one semester at the University of Zagreb before his father pressured him to return home and help him manage the vineyard and “find a wife.” Aloysius did become engaged, but soon broke it off. After some divergences, Aloysius at age 26 entered the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome to study for the priesthood.
The Americans then gave him a scholarship, enabling him to get doctorates in both philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. By this time, Aloysius could also speak five languages.
Archbishop Giuseppe Palica ordained Aloysius on October 26, 1930 and Fr. Stepinac celebrated his first Mass at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. His greatest desire was to serve his native people as a parish priest, but his bishop had other plans for the young man.
When Aloysius returned to Krasic on July 1, 1931, Archbishop Antun Bauer of Zagreb called him to be his liturgical master of ceremonies. While Aloysius served in this position, he also founded the archdiocesan branch of Caritas, a Catholic charity, and began the Caritas magazine, as well as managing the parishes of Samobar and Sveti Ivan Selina.
Less than three years later on May 28, 1934, Fr. Aloysius was appointed coadjutor bishop under Bauer. Evidently, Aloysius was the eighth candidate selected for the position since both the Pope and the king had to agree on the nominee. Perhaps the king finally agreed to Aloysius since he had served in the military.
Fr. Stepinac, the youngest bishop in the Catholic Church, wasted no time. Within a month he led 15,000 pilgrims to the Black Madonna shrine in Bistrica before beginning his mission for the Croatian people.
The conflict between the Church and the state deteriorated with more imprisonments, murders, and repression. King Alexander was assassinated in October 1934. The four Croatian bishops then petitioned his successor to address the Croatian desire for self-determination.
The Church had remained outside the realm of political influence, but Fr. Stepinac was staunch in his desire to organize the Croatian Catholic Church in order to have some say in the destiny of the Croatian people. His attempts did not meet with much success and the government even used his name to sway elections, telling the people that he backed candidates he did not support.
The Serbian Orthodox Church also persecuted the Catholics and persuaded the government to side with them against the Catholic Church. Because of discrimination in hiring practices and access to education, many Catholics “converted” to the Serbian Orthodox Church to improve their future prospects during the period between the wars.
Fr. Stepinac also took up the fight against Freemasonry — which ruled Yugoslavian politicians — and Nazism and Communism as he championed the cause of the Catholic Croatians. He wrote and preached extensively against the race laws aimed at suppressing the Jews, saying:
“We affirm then that all peoples and races descend from God. In fact, there exists but one race. . . . The members of this race can be white or black, they can be separated by oceans or live on the opposing poles, they remain first and foremost the race created by God, according to the precepts of the natural law and positive divine law as it is written in the hearts and minds of humans or revealed by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the sovereign of all peoples.”
After the war, Fr. Stepinac tangled with President Tito who insisted that the Croatian Catholics should separate themselves from the Vatican. Stepinac rejected the demand and Tito wrote to the Vatican to get Stepinac replaced. When the Vatican refused, Tito tried to get the agitating priest to leave Yugoslavia which Fr. Stepinac also refused. Since the priest would not bow to Tito’s demands, the president had him arrested on false charges. He was found guilty on October 11, 1946 and was sentenced to 16 years of hard labor.
While he was serving his sentence, someone began poisoning him with arsenic, resulting in permanent damage to his health. The governments around the world cried out for justice for Stepinac, but the only way Tito would release him would be for Stepinac to leave the country or be placed under house arrest. On December 5, 1951, Fr. Stepinac was put under house arrest.
On November 29, 1952, the Pope named Aloysius Stepinac a cardinal of the Catholic Church. The priest’s health continued to decline but he still fought against Communism and for the Croatian people. On February 10, 1960, Fr. Stepinac died from thrombosis.
After years of international outcry about the sham trial of Fr. Stepinac, the Zagreb County Court finally annulled the priest’s guilty verdict on July 22, 2016.
He was beatified on October 3, 1998 in Croatia by Pope St. John Paul II. His feast is on February 10.
Dear Fr. Stepinac, our dear Church is attacked from within and from without. Pray for our Church and obtain for us the grace to fight tirelessly for Truth to prevail in every nation on the face of the Earth. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Cardinal Zen on dubia: ‘Very respectful request by those bishops and Cardinals to have a clear statement’

February 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo expressed his support for the four Cardinals’ dubia that asks for clarification on the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia’s chapter 8. “I suppose it is a…Continue Reading

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it?

January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As controversy continues to rage over Pope Francis’ doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, an even more controversial practice proliferating in the shadows for decades is becoming increasingly open and explicit: same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Michael J. Novak, Jr. [1933 – 2017]

Theologian, public intellectual, and close friend of the Acton Institute, Michael J. Novak Jr., passed away last night on February 17, 2017. Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico reflects on the passing of his friend and mentor Michael Novak,…Continue Reading

Twitter erupts with dubious reaction to Cardinal Cupich’s post on marriage document’s ‘absolute clarity’

February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich tweeted Tuesday that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia document was in full fidelity with the Catholic Church and absolutely clear in the expression of its teaching on marriage, but users of the…Continue Reading

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an attack on the dignity of human life,” the cardinal said. He…Continue Reading

Council of Cardinals pledges allegiance to Pope Francis

ROME, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In an odd note without explanation placed on the Vatican’s daily press briefing today, the Council of Cardinals, a group of 10 Cardinals which Pope Francis has delegated to work with him on reform,…Continue Reading

Conference Looks Beyond ‘Crisis’ of Catholic Colleges, Debunks ‘Land O’ Lakes Statement’

The day after an historic and widely-covered March for Life, presidents from four Newman Guide colleges and Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly presented on the future of Catholic higher education at the “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next…Continue Reading

Top Restaurants Will Sell Cookies to Raise Money for Planned Parenthood Abortion Business

A handful of Chicago restaurants are baking cookies and selling them through Feb. 24, with the proceeds benefitting the abortion group Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Eater reported.

Roman Catholic Church of Philippines Criticizes Duterte’s Bloody Drug War

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs in a sermon read out during Sunday’s services, marking its strongest opposition yet to a flagship policy that has led to the deaths of more…Continue Reading

Catholic conservatives level criticism against pope

VATICAN CITY —Conservative criticism of Pope Francis intensified Saturday after his intervention in the Knights of Malta order, with posters appearing around Rome citing his actions against conservative Catholics and asking: “Where’s your mercy?” The posters appeared on the same…Continue Reading

U.S. archbishop visits Vietnam to show solidarity, offer support

CHICAGO (CNS) — U.S. bishops sent their immediate past president to Vietnam to see how they could help with the first college-level Catholic school approved in the Asian country in about 40 years. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi Tells Adopted Woman: Your Mom Should Have Had the “Choice” to Abort You

nancyp

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has made some pretty outrageous statements about abortion in the past. During a recent CNN Town Hall event, Pelosi stuck her foot in her mouth again when she told a young woman who was adopted…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports. The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016, despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke urges massive U.S. crowd to defend faith amid Church confusion

cburk12

LENEXA, Kansas, February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The façade of Cardinal Raymond Burke as a boogeyman of tradition projected by his critics and the media was nowhere to be found last Friday when he gave his usual clear witness to the Catholic faith before an overflow crowd in the Kansas City area. Cardinal Burke delivered a stirring, clear message on defending the Catholic faith amid the current confusion in the Church that was embraced with…Continue Reading

Again More Questions than Answers . . . MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD MEETINGS OF POPULAR MOVEMENTS IN MODESTO

Dear Brothers and Sisters, First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your effort in replicating on a national level the work being developed in the World Meetings of Popular Movements. By way of this letter, I want to encourage and strengthen each one of you, your organizations, and all who strive with you for “Land, Work and Housing,” the three T’s in Spanish: Tierra, Trabajo y Techo. I congratulate you for all…Continue Reading

U.S. House votes to overturn Obama regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The  U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 188 today to overturn former President Obama’s “eleventh hour” HHS rule forcing states to give Title X money to organizations that commit abortions. Title X money comes from the government to fund “family planning services,” but technically not abortion. Before he left office, Obama pushed through an HHS regulation that essentially forces states to give Planned Parenthood Title X

When Cardinals Clash

It was easily predictable that the Amoris Laetitia (particularly footnote 351), would lead to jarring assaults on the Church’s doctrinal unity – even by some of the Church’s own shepherds. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, has just joined the ranks of prelates who say that Pope Francis has authorized giving Holy Communion to those in adulterous second “marriages

Ex-Planned Parenthood Worker . . . Recalls Webcam Abortion Opposition, Sees Hope For Pro-Life Cause

By PEGGY MOEN ST. PAUL — Sue Thayer told her February 15 audience here that “an immediate stopper” in a debate with a pro-abort is this quotation from President Reagan: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Thayer was addressing the Legislative Dinner of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, held here at the…Continue Reading

Reopening The Question Of Women Priests… A Theological Travesty And A Spiritual Tragedy

By JEFFREY MIRUS (Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. This commentary first appeared on CatholicCulture.org, and LifeSiteNews featured it on February 13. All rights reserved.) + + + La…Continue Reading

Even As “Assisted Suicide” Looms . . . Ethics Expert Tells How Roe V. Wade Might Be Reversed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “If you want to see what a Roe v. Wade reversal looks like, read Washington v. Glucksberg,” a national expert on medical ethics and the law told a Catholic physicians’ meeting here while he also warned against an accelerating effort to legalize “assisted suicide” in the states. With speculation rising…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… Silence As An Expression Of The Sacred

By JAME MONTI In a recent interview concerning his new book, The Power of Silence, His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah observed, “Before God’s majesty, we lose our words” (Catholic World Report, October 3, 2016). Silence is man’s humble reply to the glory and transcendence of His Creator, a reply that even the high and mighty…Continue Reading

The Fatima Centenary . . . The Historical Context Of The Fatima Event

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of monthly articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + There is no better time to more deeply learn, live, and spread the message…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Signs Of Growth At “The Margins” Of The Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Why does a young man of 18 years old put on a suit and tie on Sunday morning, leaving his parents and sisters behind, to drive to a more distant parish? To attend the Traditional Latin Mass. I’d noticed him for a few weeks along with our growing Sunday Traditional Mass congregation and met him…Continue Reading

The Meaning Of Original Sin

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 25 Haven’t you met Catholic people who question the gravity of Adam’s sin? They do believe that all humans stem from a single couple, yes, but they find it hard to accept that stealing an apple is such a big deal. Surely God could not be that much offended by that! Such people argue…Continue Reading

The Liturgical Celebration Of The Eucharist

By DON FIER As narrated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper on the night before He died. Jesus and His apostles had just traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the great Jewish feast of Passover in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent reply about the failure of Jesuit colleges and universities to uphold Catholic morality, the Cardinal Newman Society has reported that most members of Congress who graduated from Catholic institutions have pro-abortion voting records. Of the 56 Jesuit college alumni who hold seats in the new Congress, said Matt Archbold of the Cardinal Newman…Continue Reading

The Meaning Of Mammon

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:14-15 1 Cor. 4:1-5 Matt. 6:24-34 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that we cannot serve two masters. We will either hate the one and love the other or we will be devoted to one and despise the other. Then He states the point…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St.…Continue Reading