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Medallion, Austria, Jakob Gapp-Marianist and Martyr (1897-1943), Silver Gilt Bronze Medallion, 2nd Republic since 1945 General Medal oJ, ad beatification of Jakob Gapp (beheaded 1943 in Plötzensee), 127.1g, 59.91mm, about very fine, Rare.
Jakob Gapp (1897-1943): Marianist and Martyr
On Sunday the 24th of November, on the Feast of Christ the king, Jakob Gapp, a Marianist priest, was beatified by John Paul II in a ceremony held at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Fr. Gapp was executed by the Nazis in Berlin in 1943 because he spoke out so often and so forcefully against Nazi ideology. After careful study of documents and testimonies about Fr. Gapp, officials in Rome approved Gapp's beatification, a ceremony indicating that his life has manifested striking virtue. Indeed , it has.
Gapp was born in western Austria in 1897, the seventh child of a working-class family. After serving in the Austrian army in World War I, in 1920 he entered in 1920 the Society of Mary, the same Roman Catholic religious order that founded the University of Dayton in 1850. By the 1930s in Austria, extensive unemployment had dramatically increased the numbers of the poor. As a young priest, Gapp was known among his Marianist brothers as having both a strong sensse of justice and a love for the poor. Gapp involved his students in assisting the poor through collecting food and money for them, and helping them find jobs. He constantly taught his students a deep sense of social responsibility, and repeated as a motto: "Action is more important than theory!" During the cold Tirolian winters, he himself often chose not to use the coal alloted to him to heat his personal room, but instead passed it on to poor families.