Conclusion of diocesan Beatification Process of Prof Anton Strle, 21st January 2021
Speech of Mgr. Stanislav Zore OFM, Archbishop of Ljubljana
Today would be the birthday of the servant of God Anton Strle. He would be 106 years old. Therefore, it is very appropriate to celebrate the last meeting of the diocesan process for the beatification and canonization. We had planned to prepare this event for the 20th October 2020. This was the anniversary of Anton Strle’s death in 2003. With saints we normally say that their day of death is their birthday in heaven. The situation of coronavirus resulted in the celebration of the diocesan part of the process on the day of his birth into this world. During the recent days I was reminded that saints beautify our world with the colours of God. Even the Servant of God Prof. Strle has – in his own way with consequent ascesis, devoted love and a steady love for the theological truth - made the beauty of the creation and life with Christ accessible for all of us. Above all he shone in his form of being a priest as “Alter Christ” and revealed the greatness of the love of God in the sacrament of the Eucharist and that of reconciliation.
I met Professor Strle as lecturer at the faculty of Theology as a tireless examiner. But all the hours in the lecture hall and the weight of dogmatic scripts fade out when compared with an experience on a Sunday afternoon in the Ursulinen church of the Holy Trinity. I was standing in the back part of the church and deep in prayer for a few moments. Then Professor Strle entered the church. A scene – worthy of a magnificent pen that could describe the drama of that moment or of a brush that could capture the holiness of these few seconds in a picture.
As the already aged Professor, meagre from ascetics, he fell onto both his knees in front of the sanctuary and bowed low. Getting up was a true effort. He rested his both hands on the floor and arose with much effort. This scene will stay in my mind for the rest of my life. At that time, I felt vividly the deep faith and the awe of the Professor of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and for the first time I felt deep inside “You are a saint.”
I want to thank especially the postulator Andrej Pirs. The diocesan process was completed in exactly 4 years. The first meeting of the church court took place on this day in 2017. Without doubt I say that everything happened in record time. Dr. Andrej Pirs saw to it – with his immense devotion, willingness to sacrifice and the ability to encourage others. He was the soul and the heart of this process and I want to thank him sincerely for that.
The material of the process will now be transferred to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. We still have a way to go to the beatification in front of us. But we cannot stay inactive. We have to increase our prayer and bring our needy requests to the servant of God Anton Strle to God. A happy completion of the process requires a miracle at his intercession.
»At that time, I felt vividly the deep faith and the awe of the Professor of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and for the first time I felt deep inside “You are a saint.” «