Font size

„Today will be the great return to the Father’s house“

Vicar Hermann Lange to his parents

Hamburg, 10th of November, 1943

Dear Parents, dear Paul,

When you hold this letter in your hands, I shall no longer be among the living. That, which has for the last many months  been in our thoughts and would not pass from our conscience, will now come about. I am extremely sorry that I will no longer be able to see Paul, whom I expected to surely see today. However, it is really good that he can be at home during these days- that way you will be able to comfort each other. If you should ask me how I feel, I can only answer: I am 1.) joyously happy, 2.) full of expectation!

As for 1: From today all pain and earthly misery will be over – and God will wipe away each tear from their eyes! What consolation, what wonderful strength we gain from our belief in Christ, who has gone in death before us. I have believed in Him and especially today I believe  in Him even more, and I shall not perish. As so often I will again direct you to Paul. Look up the following: 1 Cor. 15,43-55! Also Romans 14.8. You may look wherever you will and find jubilation over the grace of God’s kinship. What could possibly ever happen to one of God’s children? Of what could I possibly be afraid? On the contrary: "Rejoice, I tell you again, rejoice".

As for 2: Today will be the greatest hour of my life. Everything I have done, aspired to and worked for up to now, was ultimately directed towards that one goal, the ties of which will be torn asunder today. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard and what has entered no human heart, God has presented to those who love him” (1 Cor. 2,9) Now, for me, faith will turn to seeing, hope turn to possession and forever I shall have part of Him, who is love!. Should I not be full of expectation? How will it all be? I shall now be able to see, what I talked about  in sermons. There will be no more secrets and tormenting riddles. Shall I be able to nestle at the feet of Her who was my mother and guide here on earth? And St.Theresia (of Lisieux, of the Child Jesus) my special friend, will then take me by the hand! Today will be the great return to the Father’s house; why should I not be happy and full of wonder? And I shall see all those again, who were dear to me here on earth and were close to me! Grandmother, Uncle Hermann etc. etc.

Now to you! I know about your heartache. I think of you with a heavy heart. The burden upon your shoulders over the past months was heavy and this end even harder. But it is good that Paul is there now; Paul, you must now show that you are a theologian! You are there to strengthen and support. But all of you will give me the greatest joy if you carry this pain bravely and strong as true Catholic Christians Bring all your pain to Him, who suffered for us and endured the heaviest pain. In Him we are able to endure all. See, the bonds of love that bind us, will not be cut by death. You will think of me in your prayers and that I shall be with you always, I for whom there will be no more time or space limitations, that is clear. These restless times will void your pain. I implore you, Father and Mother, do not brood and let go of all those troublesome thoughts. Don’t forget that you have other children who are deserving of you. I had put everything in God’s hands from the beginning. If He now asks this end of me – well, His holy will be done. "All in the will of God! When the day draws nigh, when life’s sun shines but dimly. When it is, sinking lower, close to disappearing. God’s will shall then be done. Just God’s will. Whether after only a short path, whether after long wanderings. Friends and foes will then see me die. And only God’s will shall be done".

Once more I shall ask you to proceed on your path the way I went mine. Quietly, steadily and strong. Without senseless recrimination or, brooding, all of that ultimately only leads to melancholy and constraint. Place everything with Him, in whom everything finds its final fulfilment and know also, that Mary is the queen of all who suffer!

In my last will I have forgotten some items, like book-satchel etc. I think that Angela, Hans and Maria will be able to divide them without any disputes. The books, paraments etc. shall all go to Paul. May God let him enjoy those things for a long, peaceful time. Dear Paul, please be so kind as to select a few of the more precious books, left to me by Uncle Hermann, and send them on to Father Behnen, who for all this time has been tirelessly engaged in looking after and caring for us. Just as a small token of my gratitude. Well, the time has come for me to write my last lines. I trust that I do not need to ask your forgiveness for my weaknesses and failings, I am certain of your forgiveness. To the other three I shall write in a special letter to Angela. You too should send regards to her in my name.

I embrace you all once more with a sincere kiss of love. Auf Wiedersehen (See You again) up there with the Father of light!

Your happy – Phil. 1,21! –



English Translation: Hans-Heinrich Boeker, Wyoming, Australia

Hermann Lange