Blessed Lojze Grozde, Martyr
Painting of Blessed Lojze Grozde, taken from
Bl. Alojzij Grozde v Beli Krajini
[Excerpted from the February 2012 issue of Magnificat magazine]
"...Lojze Grozde of Trzisce, Slovenia...a youth of exceptional intelligence...joined the Catholic Action lay apostolate. He attended Mass Daily, prayed often before the Blessed Sacrament, and developed a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary...Lozje decided to visit [his mother] and stepbrothers for New Year's Day of 1943....Upon learning of a disruption to train service...he attempted to complete his journey on foot. A stranger offered to take him the rest of the way. This proved to be a trap. Lozje was arrested by Communist militants, who upon searching him found rosary beads, a Latin missal, a copy of The Imitation of Christ, and pamphlets about Our Lady of Fatima....the Communists unleashed their atheistic fury upon the nineteen-year-old youth, torturing him without mercy. His body was found on February 23, 1943."
Lojze Grozde was beatified on June 13, 2010, the anniversary of the second apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope John Paul II praised the martyr during a 1996 visit to Slovenia: "Lojze Grozde is just one of innumerable innocent victims of Communism that raise the palm of martyrdom as an indelible memory and admonition. He was a disciple of Christ."