To Luise Oestreicher, January 11, 1945

 ignatius2On this Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, I offer Delp’s letter to his secretary at St. George’s Parish. The letter carries the Ignatian charism of indifference, self-surrender, and mission.

One of Delp’s closest compatriots in the Kreisau Circle–Helmuth von Moltke remarked that he was going to die “as a martyr for St. Ignatius of Loyola.”

I have a feeling that Delp did not see himself as a martyr for Ignatius, but as a son a of Ignatius and a martyr for Jesus Christ.

Berlin-Tegel Prison


To Luise Oestreicher, January 11, 1945

Dear Luise,

This now has to be a farewell letter. God seems to want me to make a full sacrifice and to take the other road. They’ve asked for the death sentence, and the atmosphere is so full of hate and hostility. When it came to the points of actual incrimination, the charge fell. But the from first word I knew that the verdict was already decided. Right now my interior position is rather strange. Although I know that if things follow their normal course I’m going to die tonight, I’m not feeling bad at all. Perhaps God is being gracious and sparing me the fear of death up to the end. Or am I supposed to keep on believing that a miracle is going to happen? Adoro and Suscipe  were the last words of the Epiphany reflection I wrote for you. Let’s leave ourselves there.

Don’t be sad… Pray for me and I’m going to help you as well, you’ll see. Now I have to go completely. Thanks for all your love and kindness and loyalty. And don’t hold my moods and immaturity and harshness and nastiness against me.

Greetings to my friends. Whatever happens, it’s being offered as seed planted in the earth, and as blessing and sacrifice. God bless you. Now you’re going to have two brothers as guardian angels.

In the enclosed envelope are bits of newspaper, etc. During my loneliest hours I tore these off from what I had as toilet paper so that I could write some words of reflection. I wanted to attach them to a sheet and write something, and then give them to you as a gift.

May God protect you. Keep up your courage. Thank you and good-bye.


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