FoC 089: Willi Graf: Heroic Catholic Resistance in Nazi Germany with Dr. Stephani Richards-Wilson


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When we heard rumors that a cause for Willi Graf’s canonization might be opened, we knew we wanted to know more about this young Catholic student who participated in resistance against Nazism in Germany as part of The White Rose and met his death as a martyr. Then we found Dr. Stephani Richards-Wilson who has been studying his life for over a decade! We’re thrilled she was willing to join us for this episode on the inspiring figures who heroically shared the truth about the Third Reich, risking their lives to do so.

Dr. Richards-Wilson is the Director of Graduate Business Programs at Alverno College. She wrote a dissertation on Willi Graf and is currently working on the first biography of Graf to be released in the English language.

In this episode Dr. Richards-Wilson shares the story of Willi Graf and The White Rose, the group of five students and one professor who resisted the Nazis. It is an incredible story! We also discuss the preparation for the cause for Graf’s canonization and how getting to know the saints and details about their lives and personalities helps us see them as human beings who struggle just as we do in their journey toward holiness. We touch on the timeliness of Graf’s story considering the recent resurgence of Nazi ideology, anti-semitism, and racism in our world. And we talk about the importance of sharing the stories of the inspiring and heroic figures when it’s easy to obsess over the perpetrators of horrific crimes. We think you’ll be fascinated by the story of Willi Graf and The White Rose, so grab a cup of tea and settle in!

Further reading on Willi Graf:

Faith Under Fire: Willi Graf and the White Rose, an article by Dr. Richards-Wilson

In this episode we talked about:

The Man in the High Castle

To connect with Dr. Richards-Wilson:

Our Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Sock Religious–a family-owned Catholic company creating saint-inspired socks to rock on your favorite feast days.

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