A somewhat-famous bearer is Gereon Goldmann, one of my favorite anti-fascists. He was a German Catholic priest-in-training who got drafted into the Nazi army in WWII, but was charged with high treason for protesting Nazism. He was acquitted due to secret influence from members of the German Resistance, and later recruited into the 20th July Plot to assassinate Hitler (he carried dispatches for the plotters). He managed to secretly meet Pope Pius XII in person, who (considering the strained circumstances) let him be ordained a priest even though he had no chance to finish his seminary training.

He got captured/rescued by the Allies and acted as chaplain in a POW camp, where some Nazi prisoners falsely accused him of being the disguised commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, and France almost executed him before Pius XII spoke up, remembering their meeting (among other evidence that the charges were false).

In the 1950s he became pastor of a Japanese church in a poor district of Tokyo, where he started rag-picking to earn money for his parish, and tried to help the neighborhood recover from the effects of Recent Events. Over the decades he was able to build churches, houses, hospitals, and a community center. He died in 2004. I hope he gets canonized as a saint someday.

Lay Catholics are allowed to be soldiers or do violence in certain circumstances, but Catholic priests are supposed to be non-violent, even for a good cause (which Nazism was definitely not). I remember in Goldmann's memoir he praised God that, despite being forced into the German Army for years and through several battles, he managed never to shoot or kill a single soul.

Father Gereon Goldmann, pray for us!
― Anonymous User  3/4/2021
Gereon Rath is the main protagonist in a series of crime novels by Volker Kutscher, taking place in Berlin in the 1930s. The novels have been made into a TV series named Babylon Berlin.
Magnolia92  3/1/2021
kayisforkeen  8/23/2018
There is something really interesting and fairy tale-like about the name Gereon. I am quite keen on it.
Francesca  6/2/2015
Pronounced GE-re-awn. [noted -ed]
mafiosa  8/6/2009

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