Seliger Engelmar brachte die Liebe in die Hölle

Anlässlich einer Wallfahrt zum KZ Dachau hat Generalrat Pater Patrick Chongo CMM vor englischsprachigen Mitbrüdern in der Kapelle des Karmel von Heiligen Blut in Dachau über den Seligen Pater Engelmar gepredigt – Wir bringen Sie hier in Englischer Sprache

Dear Confreres, We have gathered today in this place, to walk in the footsteps of blessed Engelmar. We gather here to experience the atmosphere of his days of suffering and torment together with his fellow prisoners here in Dachau. Although we cannot fully experience what he experienced at the time, since we are here at our own volution where as he was not, and the context is of course very different, we have an opportunity to reflect on the opportunity we still have to make a difference in this world by our witnessing to what we believe, no matter what it costs us. On the cover of our hymnal today we see three words: LOVE, DEVOTION & SACRIFICE ; three keys words which defined Blessed Engelmar’s time in Dachau. Are these three words (Love, devotion and Sacrifice) also defining my own life as a Missionary of Mariannhill ? A story is told of an old Carmelite nun who everyday used to go after lunch to stand in front of the statue of St. Theresa of Lisieux and say something to her. You know St. Theresa of Lisieux died at the age of 24. This went on for a long time and other nuns observed this old nun making these visit to the statue and talking to it. One day one of the sisters quietly followed this old nun and hid herself somewhere to hear what she says to the statue. And the curious sister heard these words from the old sister looking at the statue : „Little girl I wonder whether you would have been in that place had you grown old like me. You disappeared too early before life could brutalize you. You are lucky. Pray for me „. And she turned and left. Blessed Engelmar, born Hubert Unzeitig, on 1st March 1911, died on 2nd March 1945 here in this Concentration Camp of Dachau. He was just slightly older than the age at which St. Theresa of Lisieux died. He died from a desease called „Love, Devotion and Sacrifice“. This disease would not allow him to grow old. He was soon gone. Young Fr Engelmar Unzeitig with 30 years of age and 2 years of priestly ministry, stood in front of parishioners and said I condemn the evils of the NAZI regime against the Jewish people…. and he paid dearly for this. He was arrested and imprisoned. Little did the regime know that Dachau Concentration Camp will become his new parish and that prisoners will be his new parishioners. Nothing could stop Fr. Engelmar from testifying to what he believed, both in word and deed. He died from the disease of his parishioners in the concentration camp. He died with them, while serving them. Pope Francis talks about the Shepherd carrying the smell of his flock. In the case of Fr. Engelmar’s death, this is the ultimate example of smelling the smell of one’s sheep: dying from the disease they are dying from, dying with them while serving them. For this he studied Russian in order to serve better fellow prisoners, who came from Eastern Europe. Dear Confreres, we have a powerful example and inspiration before us, who now intercedes for us in heaven. Blessed Engelmar had a choice to let the dying die and look forward to hopefully leaving Dachau one day and go back to serving the Lord as a Missionary but his commitment to love, devotion and sacrifice, virtues he had acquired from his faith, would not allow him to do so. He decided he was going to enter the dangerous barracks 23 to serve the dying and he paid with his life. He had an opportunity and he seized the opportunity. We have an opportunity; do we seize the opportunity ? Blessed Engelmar, we now speak to you; you who are the Angel of Dachau, the Martyr of Charity, the Lily of Dachau, the Model of Charity, help us, with your prayers, not to be selfish with our lives and gifts, but to seize the opportunity to serve no matter how painful it becomes. Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said “ LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS, LOVE UNTIL YOU FEEL THE PAIN OF DOING SO“.