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Jesuitica: Metanoia of a monster

hoess_01In 1947 Nazi Rudolf Hoess, former commandant of Auschwitz Concentration camp (not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s Deputy Führer) was in solitary confinement in Krakow, awaiting execution for his war crimes. When he heard the bells of the local Carmel, he was reminded of the faith he had embraced as a child but had long since rejected. He called for a German-speaking priest. The local Jesuit provincial, Fr. Ladislav Lohn, went to the convent of Sister Faustina and asked the Sisters to pray earnestly while he went to hear the prisoner’s confession. In the end Hoess was reconciled with the Church and received Holy Communion. Later Hoess wrote his wife and five children, expressed sorrow for his crimes, and begged forgiveness of the people of Poland. He was executed April 16, 1947.