Vatican official beatifies German brother who founded hospital


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REGENSBURG, Germany (CNS) -- A German Catholic brother who once told his confreres not to go see Adolf Hitler has been moved one step closer to sainthood. Archbishop Angelo Amato, head of the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes, beatified Brother Eustachius Kugler, a member of the Brothers of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, Oct. 4 at a Mass in Regensburg.

Beatification is a major step toward canonization; the church must accept another miracle attributed to the intercession of Brother Eustachius before he can be declared a saint.

In the late 1920s, Brother Eustachius was responsible for the construction of a large hospital for the Hospitaller order. The hospital was situated among large factories that produced war planes.

During Allied bombings of Regensburg in World War II, Brother Eustachius did not go to air raid shelters, but remained in the hospital chapel, praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

The hospital was not hit by bombs. In 1938, when Hitler visited Regensburg, Brother Eustachius told his brothers not to go see the "Fuhrer," or leader. Referring to the Blessed Sacrament, he said, "Our Fuhrer is in the tabernacle."