In the Old Town of Prague, at the beautiful Augustinian church of St Thomas the Apostle, the opening session took place of the process of beatification or declaration of martyrdom of its former prior and Servant of God Augustin Schubert, a professed priest of the Order of St Augustine murdered in odium fidei in Dachau concentration camp 1942
His Reverence Jan Graubner, Metropolitan Archbishop of Prague and Primate of the Church in Czechia, led Vespers, during which thanks were given and God was praised for the gift of Schubert's life and witness. Parishioners and devotees of Fr Schubert’s cause joined the prayers for the good progress of this first part of the process.
After the liturgy, the first sitting of the diocesan enquiry convened in the monastery of St Thomas. Archbishop Graubner presided over the session. Auxiliary bishop of Prague Msgr Zdeněk Wasserbauer was there in his capacity as the special delegate of the archbishop for the proper prosecution of the cause. It was at this session when the members of the tribunal and the Postulator General of the Order of St Augustine Fr Josef Sciberras OSA swore an oath to tell the honest truth concerning Fr Schubert. Fr Sciberras later commented that "the high presence of parishioners and devotees of Schubert, whose testimony and lasting fame of martyrdom, whose courage in denouncing the evil of his time", are, he said, "a constant invitation to evangelical fidelity."
Also in attendance were Fr William S. Faix OSA and the other Augustinian friars of the community of Prague, along with the provincial superior of Bohemia.
Semblanza del P. Schubert, por nuestro querido y añorado hermano Paul Graham OSA
Augustin Schubert was born in Prague in 1902. His father was of German origin and his mother was Czech. At his father's urging, he studied at the German University in Prague, where he earned a doctorate in philosophy. His professor wanted him to enter the faculty, but Schubert had other plans.
As a member of a Catholic student movement, he and his friends met the Augustinians in the baroque church of St Thomas in Prague, where some of their meetings took place. During a camping trip, a group of them decided to join the Augustinians, including Schubert, a fun-loving guitarist. His dream was to be part of the renewal of the Church in Bohemia, as well as of the Augustinian Order. After studying in Germany, Schubert was ordained a priest in Prague on 20 January 1929. 9.
He quickly established a reputation as a convincing preacher and became the spiritual director of an athletic movement called Orel (tr. Eagle). Czechoslovakia was then a fledgling democracy, and youth organisations like Orel were a vehicle for national identity and youth evangelism. In his 1938 journal, in the face of Nazi aggression, Schubert wrote: “We must remind the nation of the inalienable rights that God has for us, rights denied but not eradicated: the rule of law, the dignity of the family, education and the integrity of the nation.”
En octubre de 1938, el ejército nacionalsocialista invadió los Sudetes, en el norte de Checoslovaquia, y los anexionaron a Alemania. Mientras tanto, Schubert comenzó a utilizar su púlpito tanto para llamar a la gente a volver a Dios como para hablar de la injusticia de la invasión alemana. Justo antes de que los nazis golpearan las aceras de Praga, Schubert dio un conmovedor sermón en la catedral de San Vito con una llamada a la oración: "Rezando no debilitamos a la nación. Una parte de ella debe tener los puños cerrados, otra parte las manos cruzadas en oración...".
Tras la invasión del resto de Checoslovaquia en marzo de 1939, Schubert se convirtió rápidamente en una piedra en el zapato de las autoridades alemanas. Acabó siendo detenido el 30 de agosto de 1940, cuando la Gestapo irrumpió en el monasterio contiguo a la iglesia.
El Provincial y amigo íntimo de Schubert, Bonaventure Czerny, preguntó al oficial de arresto el motivo de su detención. “Tenga la seguridad -dijo el oficial- de que tenemos tanto material contra él que no tiene que contar con su regreso. Agita en el púlpito, corrompe a la juventud y subvierte la idea del Reich”.