MEMENTO OF RECENT CZECH HISTORY
The figure of his eminence cardinal Josef Beran is not directly linked to Neratovice, nor within the town’s surroundings. However, the life story of cardinal Beran, full of faith and determination, deeply resonates with Neratovice’s citizens.
Cardinal Josef Beran was a great Czech patriot and courageous priest. He never surrendered to the challenges he faced and bravely stood up to both the Nazi and the communist regimes. As a rector of the Prague archbishop’s priests seminar and a professor of theology, cardinal Beran was arrested after the assassination of Reinhard Heyndrich in 1942, and imprisoned in Terezin and Dachau, the infamous concentration camps.
In 1946, he became the Prague Archbishop but the communist takeover in 1948 viewed him unfavorably. He was marginalized for the remainder of his time in the country and under constant surveillance by the secret police, who unsuccessfully tried to gather compromising evidence against him.
In 1965, Josef Beran was granted permission to travel to Rome to be named a cardinal by the Pope Paul VI. However, he was not allowed to come back to his country. In the Vatican he worked on the preparations of the second Vatican council and in Rome he founded Velehrad – a Czech religious community center.
After the suicide of Jan Palach, cardinal Beran presented a statement on the radio, in which he did not condone Palach but rather praised his ideals.
Cardinal Beran was often referred to as “the second St. Adalbert”. He supported his fellow Czech citizens from exile in the Vatican until he eventually passed away in 1969. The communist regime did not allow for his body to be transferred back to the Czech Republic and thus he was buried in the crypt of St. Peter basilic in the Vatican. His last wish was fulfilled only in 2018 when his remnants were buried in the St Vitus Cathedral in Prague. In 1998 the process of his beatification began.
He never surrendered to the challenges he faced and bravely stood up to both the Nazi and the communist regimes.
|THE LIFE OF CARDINAL JOSEF BERAN |
JOSEF BERAN’S INNER FREEDOM AND FAITH IN GOD’S JUSTICE IS AN INSPIRATION TO THE CITIZENS OF NERATOVICE WHO HAVE BEEN GATHERING FOR CENTURIES DESPITE MANY OBSTACLES. AFTER DECADES OF COMMUNIST OPPRESSION, THE CITIZENS OF NERATOVICE NOW AWAIT THEIR OWN CHURCH, FULL OF HOPE. THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, A PLACE FILLED WITH FAITH AND JOY.