Servant of God Prof. Dr. Anton Strle (1915-2003)
The servant of God Anton Strle was born on the Feast of Saint Agnes on 21st January 1915 in a simple farming family. At their wedding, his parents had prayed to God that one of their children would consecrate himself to God. They had eight children, three died as children. Anton was the sixth. It was usual at that time, the rosary was prayed every evening in the family. His father died when he was five years old and his mother died when he was 17. The mother had never gone to school. The father had a better education. Although his father had died so early, he remembered his words: ”Boy, think with your head!” From his mother he inherited piety and diligence.
He experienced a crucial event in his life when he was ten years old. In the field, where he herded cattle from his early childhood, the thought came to him of how nice it would be, if God did not exist. Then sin would not exist either and you could be free and do what you want. He enjoyed this thought for some time, but then he realised that he had sinned with that thought. Therefore, he could not sleep for a couple of days. He prayed a prayer of expiation incessantly and suffered very much. After a few days, he calmed down and, in the depth, he was fulfilled with the presence of God. He said himself that after this event nothing special changed anymore in his life. After this event he began to celebrate the holy mass on the pasture and the other shepherds’ children as his servers.
When he was around ten years old, he started to go to a school that was an hour’s walk away. Like other children, he often didn’t go to school for weeks during the winter, because of the bad weather, the snow and because he had to look after the cattle. The priest, who was the catechist at the same time, and the teacher noticed his special talent. Because the priest also suspected him to have a vocation to the priesthood, he talked to Anton and his mother and suggested, that Anton went to the diocesan Grammar School in Ljubljana. Anton accepted this offer with great joy. He was especially gifted for languages.
On the 21st January 2021 his process of beatification, which was promoted with great zeal by Fr. Andrej Pirs FSO as postulator, was concluded on diocesan level and all the documents were passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.