|Fr. Koplinski, a Capuchin Friar|
I hadn't thought of that comic book for decades, but then I read about Father Anicet Koplinski, a Capuchin priest, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999. Having experienced the generosity of the Capuchins firsthand as one of twelve children in a needy, working-class family, Anicet (meaning "Invincible," the name he was assigned upon ordination) felt the vocation to join. Nicknamed "St. Francis of Warsaw," he made the rounds daily to collect any donations (food, clothing, fuel) that could be given to the city's neediest families. Penances imposed on those with means (even the Cardinal, to whom he served as confessor) were often alms for the poor.
As a German national living in Poland (mixed German-Polish ancestry, born in Prussia), he strongly resented the ideas embodied in National Socialism. During the early stages of the occupation, he used his German citizenship to provide supplies and shelter for those who were targeted by the Nazis, including Protestants and Jews.
|Fr. Koplinski, a prisoner in Auschwitz|
|Fr. Koplinski, executed on 10/16/1941.|
But we do know that his execution was on October 16. There was an ersatz trial, of sorts, after which he and other convicts were thrown in a pit of quicklime and burned alive.
I would never want to name anyone Invincible; it seems like tempting fate. And of course we are none of us invincible in the flesh. But the spirit of Koplinski was certainly anicet -- right up to his observation to fellow condemned prisoners that they "must drink this chalice to the bottom."