WOMAN WHO DEFIED HITLER WAS INSPIRED BY NEWMANAlso see:
Re-reading this great story that came out last year (April 3, 2009) in The Catholic Herald about the strong influence that the writings Cardinal John Henry Newman had on the thought, faith and action of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans in resisting the Nazis through their "White Rose" movement is timely and inspiring again with Newman's Beatification now scheduled to happen by the man who Newman has also deeply influenced, Joseph Ratzinger. In this article we learned the amazing new revelation that due to the influence of Newman, Sophie, called "Germany's greatest heroine", and Hans requested to be received into the Catholic Church an hour before their execution by the Nazis.
Their connection with Newman and his writings on conscience add even deeper meaning to the heroic life and death of this brave young German sister and brother.
Their story is movingly told in the recent powerful, Academy Award nominated film Sophie Scholl. If you have not seen it, be sure to get a copy and watch it for insight and inspiration.
Film critic Steven Greydanus' wrote an outstanding review of this film in which he gives it his highest possible rating.
One of the many interesting revelations in the Catholic Herald article is that the German Catholic convert and scholar named Theodor Haecker, who converted from reading Newman's writings, was a personal friend of the Scholls and the one who introduced them to Newman's thought (which played such a significant role in the writings of the White Rose movement), and was the same person who also introduced Joseph Ratzinger to Newman's thought and writings. And as we know, Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, became a great student and devotee of the thought and writings Newman, and has personally led the way for his Beatification, and will personally travel to England in the Fall to Beatify Newman.
Ignatius Press has an excellent book out this season on Newman, Fr. Zeno's John Henry Newman: His Inner Life, and two more coming out in the Fall, The Heart of Newman, edited by Erich Przywara, S.J., and Blessed John Henry Newman: Theologian and Spiritual Guide for Our Times (not yet online).
So there you have it, a very interesting direct link between three greats: Newman, Sophie Scholl and Joseph Ratzinger.