Martin McMurtrey, SM, and Herbert Janson, SM
In “Marianist Martyr—Blessed Jakob Gapp, SM,” Marianist Brothers Martin McMurtrey and Herbert Janson capture the essence of a man who defied Nazi Germany through his words and actions. Blessed Gapp’s story is rooted in an unshakable conviction of always living the Gosepl.

163 pgs.

This is a fictionalized account, much like Running Giant is to Blessed Chaminade, related to the life and martyrdom of Blessed Gapp. While fictional in some elements, Marianist Martyr--Blessed Jakob Gapp, SM, faithfully captures the essence of the social situation of Nazi Germany and the courageous words and actions of Gapp, Christ's holy hero. Father Josef Levit, SM, the formost expert on Gapp, was extensively interviewed during the creation of this work.

Chapter 1--1915-1919

It is often asked: What is this horrible Nazi monster with which Fr. Jakob Gapp, SM, contended during his forty-six years and by which he is martyred? Some now do not even believe that Nazism could have been so evil. The almost sixty years since the end of the Second World War have dimmed the memory of the older people, while the younger do not know what Nazism meant or the inhuman horrors it performed.


Undoubtedly most Germans living today do not condone Nazism; yet there remains traces of it which include the dangerous hatred of non-Aryans (non-Germans) and deep-seated anti-Semitism. Some gory statistics about National Socialism (Nazism) in Germany, may enlighten us now to see how formidable was this demonic enemy which Fr. Jakob Gapp, SM, condemned and conquered with his death.


From 1933-1945--the span of the Nazi rule in Germany--the total executions of its opponents numbered more than eleven million: five million Jews and six million others. Hans Frank, the Nazi Governor of occupied Poland, announced, "The Jews must vanish from the face of the earth."

Not often published but among the six million others are several thousand Catholic priests and Protestant ministers and even some Catholic bishops who clashed with National Socialism and were imprisoned.


Dedication to Fr. Josef Levit, SM


Authors’ Research Trip


Chapter I 1915-1919

  1. The Nazi Monster
  2. Home from the War
  3. First World War

Chapter II 1897-1925

  1. A Child is Born
  2. Entrance into S.M.
  3. Graz 1921-1925

Chapter III 1925-1938

  1. Preparation for Combat
  2. New Priest with New Ideas
  3. A Priest of Lanzenkirchen
  4. Social-minded Teacher

Chapter IV 1937-1943

  1. Hitler Invades Austria
  2. Adolph Hitler (1889-1945)
  3. Hitler’s Rise to Power

Chapter V 1938

  1. Fr. Gapp Fights Back
  2. Unneeded in France


Chapter VI 1939-1942

  1. Turmoil in Spain
  2. Spanish Civil War
  3. The Gestapo Trap Is Set

Chapter VII Spring 1943

  1. Imprisionment
  2. Interrogations
  3. Marianist Priest as Others See Him

Chapter IX Summer 1943

  1. Trial and Conviction
  2. Execution

Chapter X August 13, 1943

  1. Vindication of a Marianist Martyrdom
  2. Two Letters

Chapter XI November 24, 1996

  1. Discovery and Proclamation
  2. On to Rome