May 23rd: Blessed Vilmos Apor
Bishop, Martyr, and Chaplain of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
Vilmos (William) Apor, born 1892, was a Hungarian bishop who earned a special reputation for his service to the poor, especially during the months of hardship that came toward and at the end of World War II.
Named Bishop of Gÿor in 1941, he chose as his motto: “The Cross strengthens the weak and makes the strong gentle.” During the many air raids he opened his home to those whose houses had been destroyed.
When Russian troops entered the city in 1945, many women including religious took refuge in his episcopal residence. On Good Friday 1945 three Russian soldiers came to the residence
and demanded that the women be taken to their barracks. Bishop Apor refused and placed himself in front of the women.
One of the Russians shot and wounded him. Out of fear they then fled, leaving the women unmolested. Bishop Apor lived in great agony for three days and died on 2 April, Easter Monday.
Almighty and Eternal God, through your grace, Bishop William, by courageously shedding his blood for his flock, earned a martyr’s crown. Grant that we, despite the difficulties of our daily lives,
may do your will and offer our good works for the salvation of our brothers and sisters. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
This information was provided by Fra’ James-Michael von Stroebel. Click here to view the complete Calendar of Liturgical Celebrations Proper to the Order.