Fr János Brenner – A Model Priest & Martyr

Fr János Brenner – A Model Priest & Martyr

From YouTube Platform…

Catholic priest Fr. János Brenner, a victim of the retaliation that followed Hungary’s failed 1956 anti-Soviet uprising, was beatified at a ceremony attended by more than 15,000 people in his hometown of Szombathely, in western Hungary in 2018. Fr. Brenner was murdered on December 15, 1957 after being ambushed in the middle of the woods around midnight. His body was found the morning after with 32 stab wounds yet in his hands he still had the Eucharist, protecting it with his life.

Editor writes…

Perhaps the following commentator speaks for us all…

“This great young Priest is a hero forever! His life story makes me ashamed that I have not given the full measure as Father János and how my life is big failure compared to his . He leaves me very humbled to the dust . Thank you for your sacrifice. May GOD keep you forever in Heaven good Father János. May your sacrifice inspire millions of men to become holy priests serving the Holy Spirit.”

Your thoughts…

Comments (36)

  • Michaela Reply

    That’s a beautiful story – such a wonderful vocation. He really is a sorely needed model for priests these days, and the rest of us, too. A great thread for the Sabbath!

    April 15, 2023 at 10:53 pm
  • Fidelis Reply


    I agree – it’s a very encouraging story about a young priest in the 20th century – the 1950s, not so long ago, in fact.

    I wonder how many young priests have his love of the Eucharist or would even get themselves out of the house to go with the Last Sacraments to a dying person, these dayss? I would wager, not a lot. Along with the new Mass came a whole new way of thinking about the faith, and that includes death.


    I’ve been wondering, maybe you’ve told us and I’ve forgotten, if so please forgive – when exactly is the blog closing? I have a feeling it’s July but beginning, middle or end, I am not remembering – sorry.

    April 16, 2023 at 3:19 pm
    • Michaela Reply


      Sad but true – I think you are right about young priests these days being affected by the new Mass and the new theology that goes with it. Everybody’s going to Heaven, which is why they wear white vestments at funerals. If only it was that simple!

      April 16, 2023 at 5:36 pm
      • Marjory

        Yes, those white vestments at funerals always make me see red, LOL!

        April 16, 2023 at 5:48 pm
    • Michaela Reply


      I meant to say that I believe the blog is closing in early July. After I typed that, I went to see if I could track down the info and went to the Closure of the Catholic Truth Apostolate thread, where I found a comment from editor giving this information in a comment:

      ” the blog will remain open until on or just before 5 July.”

      It will be sorely missed, IMO.

      April 16, 2023 at 6:01 pm
    • editor Reply


      As Michaela has accurately quoted, the blog will be closing “on or before 5 July”. That’s because the annual renewal date is 5th July, so we won’t be paying for another year.

      I have notified readers in the May/June newsletter (due out and about in the next week or so) that they have until 5th July deadline to copy material from the blog. But for that fact, I’d be closing it right now, to be honest. It seems to have taken all day to gather just 9 votes (ten if you count this one) on a thread which I would have expected to be greeted with a lot of enthusiasm and thoughtful commentary. So, time to go, methinks…

      Between now and the beginning of July, I’ll post new threads as and when something of interest rears its head, so to speak. I’m very sensitive now, to the blog fatigue which has obviously set in and seems to be here to stay 😀

      For those who may wish to copy the pdf copies of the newsletter from the Newsletter page, it really doesn’t take long – for those interested in doing so (1) Open a new folder on your computer and name it something like CATHOLIC TRUTH NEWSLETTERS PDF… (2) go to the Newsletter page and simply right click to “save link as” at each newsletter. I began from the foot of the menu – 2008 I think – and then used the + sign to collapse each year and “saved as” the link to each edition, all the way to the top. It really doesn’t take long – I’ve got them all copied and I did most of them in one afternoon, an hour or so is all it took.

      Also, you might want to open another folder, entitled CATHOLIC TRUTH BLOG COMMENTS, then trawl the threads and copy some of the well documented, detailed comments from our fully informed bloggers. You can then use the content when you contribute to other blogs.

      I’ll open a thread on the closure of the blog in due course – just thought I’d drop these suggestions in for now.

      On topic – I heartily agree with everyone that Fr Brenner is a wonderful priest and we should pray that young priests are inspired by his example and want to be truly holy priests – we have enough social workers in Roman collars for now, thank you very much 😀

      April 16, 2023 at 8:17 pm
  • Josephine Reply

    The story of Fr Janos Brenner is wonderful, it really is. But how many priests of this generation today would think so? They seem to be social justice warriors, just what we need in a welfare state, LOL!

    I’m afraid even the supposedly traditionalist priests are not all that bothered when it comes to visiting the sick and dying, from what I’ve heard. The kind of urgency which inspired Fr Brenner is no longer the norm, unfortunately.

    We should pray to Fr Brenner for the Scottish clergy.

    April 16, 2023 at 5:34 pm
    • Marjory Reply

      That is a very good, practical idea, to pray to Fr Brenner for the Scottish clergy – deacons, priests and bishops. It would be good, also, to spread the link to the short video at the top of this thread. Any young priest, if he has any Catholic sense at all in his soul, will be inspired by it.

      April 16, 2023 at 5:51 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    I was intrigued to learn a bit more about this priest and I found this website, Cistercians, his Order.

    Although they have a photo of his ordination Mass, obviously the old rite, when you click on their Liturgy page, it’s obvious that they are now modernists. That is very sad.

    To the point others have made about Fr Brenner being a model for priests today especially young priests, frankly, I can’t see it. He is quoted on the above website saying this:

    “My greatest desire,” Fr. Anastasius wrote, “is to be a saint, to live a holy life and to sanctify others.” Seemingly in anticipation of his martyrdom, these pages reveal a man willing to follow Christ even to the point of intense personal suffering for the sake of sinners; his only request being, “May I always fulfil most precisely what you give to me as my vocation.”

    We don’t even have priests who will stick to the Mass rubrics – and I include the priests saying the old rite Mass as well. They all seem to want to put their own stamp on it! They need to be different from the next priest, for some unfathomable (to me, anyway) reason.

    So, I can’t see a rush on copycat Fr Brenner priests in Scotland any time soon. I hope I’m wrong, of course, but not likely.

    To finish on a positive – that short video of Fr Janos Brenner’s life and martyrdom is very touching and inspiring.

    April 16, 2023 at 5:47 pm
    • Marjory Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      I agree with what you say about young priests these days – they’ve been taught a whole new type of Church to live in so giving up their lives to take the sacraments to someone who is dying, would be odd to them, I suspect.

      I’m curious about your comment about priests putting their own “stamp” on the Mass, even the old rite – can you elaborate a bit on that?

      April 16, 2023 at 6:05 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      It goes without saying that priests who are making up their own TLM rubrics are not celebrating the TLM at all. As for improvising Novus Ordo rubrics, is there anything in that disgusting, “banal, on-the-spot” liturgy that is NOT improvised?

      April 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Marjory, RCA Victor,

        In one of the parishes where the TLM is said where I sometimes go, the priest doesn’t give a sermon at the Mass I’ve attended, and he doesn’t make the announcements at the right time. He waits until just before the final gospel and then from the epistle side he makes announcements. I find it really off putting and I can’t understand it. I heard one person asking “why does he stop the flow of the Mass to make announcements at the end?” and I thought, yes, I’d like to have the answer to that. I can’t help thinking that it’s all well enough intentioned. These priests are novus ordo trained and they are used to putting their own stamp on the Mass, i.e. changing something so that it is “their” hallmark sort of thing but one of the attractions of the old Mass is that there is a definite rubric and nobody should deviate from it.

        Then someone said maybe that doesn’t count as breaking the rubric, just changing where the announcements are made, so I’m confused. If anyone can clarify this, I’d be grateful.

        April 18, 2023 at 8:48 am
  • Frankier Reply

    I remember when that was the fate of many priests, God rest them, in Eastern Europe at that time. Most of them called out in the middle of the night on fake sick calls. I’m sure a lot of them would suspect that they were fake calls, especially those in the middle of the night, but wouldn’t want to take the chance of a dying person not getting the last rites, or Extreme Unction as it was called then.

    There was one case in particular that stood out of a young (they were all mainly young) Polish priest who, if I remember correctly, was never ever found.

    April 16, 2023 at 11:11 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    Father’s martyrdom – the ruse by which he was lured into a trap – reminded me of the murder of the President of Ecuador, Garcia Moreno, who was lured out of the Cathedral by an assassin who informed him of an urgent business that awaited him. The urgent business turned out to be assassination.

    April 16, 2023 at 11:38 pm
  • Theresa Rose Reply

    Father Janos Brenner is a indeed a model for priests in todays world. It made me think it worthy in praying to him alongside Saint John Vianney, for the priests in todays world.

    April 17, 2023 at 3:19 pm
  • Lady Letitia Reply

    Margaret Mary
    18 April 2023 @ 08.48

    The priest is not breaking the continuity of the Mass by making parish announcements before the Last Gospel, because unlike the NO Mass finishes when “Ite Missa Est” is said and before the blessing. In the NO Mass finishes at “The Mass Is Ended”., What puzzled me, was, why the blessing outside of Mass in the TLM, is it because having received Holy Communion, we are to go forth.

    April 18, 2023 at 9:54 am
    • Laura Reply

      Lady Letitia,

      I don’t really care if it’s technically correct for the priest to change things at the TLM because that’s been the way with the novus ordo clergy for years now. Everything is either “allowed” or “traditional” i.e. that is the way it used to be done. All I know is that for once I’d love to find a Mass where things are no different no matter who the priest is. In Glasgow I’ve seen it all – each parish where the TLM is or was, each priest does his own thing at some point. Even the SSPX in the past few years, with the removal of the vestment before preaching, there’s nowhere you can go to find a Mass that is said the same way by one priest as it is by the others. It might not be big things but it’s irritating, IMO.

      To your final question – I don’t think it is the words “ite missa est” that closes the Mass but the blessing. We are to “go the Mass is ended” with the blessing to help us go out an be Christlike. That’s how I’ve always interpreted it anyhow.

      April 18, 2023 at 2:06 pm
      • Lady Letitia


        18 April 2023 @ 14.06.

        I have found many references supporting what I said earlier, here is one such explanation. It may be different in the Glasgow area substantiating what you saying that each priest says Mass according to his own interpretation of the rubics.
        ●In the Novus Ordo, the Mass ends with a blessing and then the dismissal, when the priest says, “The Mass is ended; go in peace” and the people respond, “Thanks be to God.” In the Traditional Latin Mass, the dismissal precedes the blessing, which is followed by the reading of the Last Gospel—the beginning of the Gospel according to Saint John (John 1:1-14).●

        April 18, 2023 at 8:51 pm
      • Laura

        Lady Letitia,

        You say you have “found many references” supporting what you said earlier, but you don’t say where you got those many references. I would like to know.

        April 18, 2023 at 11:35 pm
  • Lady Letitia Reply

    April 18 @ 11.35

    Al la Ian Fleming – For Your Eyes Only. Here is the link…. Hope this helps.

    In the Novus Ordo, the Mass ends with a blessing and then the dismissal, when the priest says, “The Mass is ended; go in peace” and the people respond, “Thanks be to God.” In the Traditional Latin Mass, the dismissal precedes the blessing, which is followed by the reading of the Last Gospel—the beginning of the Gospel according to Saint John (John 1:1-14).

    April 19, 2023 at 10:33 am
    • Athanasius Reply

      Lady Letitia

      I have been following your exchange with Laura and I have to say, without wishing to offend, that it seems a very trivial and distracting debate. The fact is that the new Mass (Novus Ordo) does not flow naturally from the ancient Latin rite; it is rather a carbon copy of the Reformation meal service created by the apostate archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 16th century Reformation England. It does not compare in any way to the explicit Catholic sacrifice expressed so perfectly in the Mass handed down for almost 2000 years. The Novus Ordo was designed to facilitate the condemned error of ecumenism and to erode Catholic belief in the Mass as Our Lord’s sacrifice. That’s why its author, Fr. Annibale Bugnini felt smug enough to go on public record in the early 1970s declaring his new rite to be “a conquest of the Catholic Church”. He made this statement in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano.

      What faithful Catholics must do is seek out a Traditional Latin Mass for their sanctification and avoid at all costs this Novus Ordo, which, while valid in the strict sense, is so saturated in Protestant theology as to represent a danger to faith.

      Want to know why so many Catholics now call the holy sacrifice of the Mass “a celebration of the Eucharist”, and why so many have no trouble holding full blown conversations in front of the tabernacle, and why so many take the most Blessed Sacrament in their grubby hands (an indult!) instead of kneeling before their Lord to receive on the tongue with humility, etc. etc? It all comes back to Bugnini and his cronies who had the slow but sure dismantling of the Catholic Faith well planned and laid out 60 years ago. Altar girls and women lay readers, etc., are other elements thrown in to destroy faith.

      Hence, forget about trivialities such as how one Mass compares with the other in terms of final blessings, etc. The elephant in the room is a Novus Ordo Mass that should never have been permitted in the Church and which has resulted in almost universal destruction of faith in two generations!

      April 19, 2023 at 11:21 am
      • Laura

        With respect, Athanasius, we are not discussing trivia – the discussion started because Margaret Mary mentioned that one of the Glasgow priests who offers the TLM breaks off to make announcements just before the Last Gospel. He doesn’t give a sermon and make the announcements at the appointed time, but just before the Last Gospel.

        The issue seems to be (in Lady Letitia’s mind) when does the TLM actually finish but whatever, I think it’s distracting to make announcements about parish events etc just before the Last Gospel which is when most of us think the Mass has ended.

        Maybe you could say whether Lady Letitia is right or if the priest should stick to what we’ve always known, the announcements just before the Gospel is read in English after it’s been read in Latin. That was always the custom although this particular priest doesn’t read the readings in English, he has them printed on sheets. even so, I would think the announcements should be read from the usual place at the usual time.

        April 19, 2023 at 11:29 am
      • Athanasius


        I had missed the original comment of Margaret Mary, so apologies for that. In answer to your question: it is absolutely inappropriate for the priest to make announcements before the Last Gospel. If the priest has announcements to make then these should be made just prior to the homily, which every priest is obliged to preach by Church law on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

        As regards when the Mass ends in a TLM, it is, strictly speaking, when the final blessing is given. The Last Gospel is a beautiful extension, or prologue, to the Mass which allows the faithful time after receiving Holy Communion to contemplate in a few paragraphs the work of our Redemption, so clearly expressed by St. John the Evangelist. I seem to recall that the Last Gospel was also instituted by the Popes as a bullwark against certain heresies which threatened the faith in medievel times. The poisonous doctrines of the Cathars and Albigensians were particularly neutralised by the Last Gospel, which is actually the opening words of St. John’s Gospel. In fine, it is an integral element of attendance at the TLM which has been practiced for some 800 years or so, and prior to that was privately recited by the priest as he returned to the sacristy, but not, strictly speaking, a part of the Mass, which ends with the ite missa est and blessing. We can see why the Modernists wanted rid of it, though!

        I should mention also that the priest in question is not obliged to read the Gospel in English before preaching his homily since he has already read it in Latin and people have followed in their missal with English translation.

        Hope this helps.

        April 19, 2023 at 12:50 pm
      • Athanasius


        For some reason my response to your comment of 11:49am has not gone up. Perhaps Editor can find it and post it. It seems that every comment I post now is disappearing into cyberspace until Editor retrieves it. It’s so frustrating.

        April 19, 2023 at 2:04 pm
      • editor


        Sorry about that – your posts and Petrus’s posts are flying into moderation for no reason that I can see. I’ve been away from my computer all day and just switched on again, do I will keep a close watch – everything has now been released and I think that problem is now fixed.

        April 19, 2023 at 7:26 pm
      • Athanasius


        Many thanks for that. There are some who would like to moderate me forever. I was beginning to think that a certain religious organisation was hacking in to moderate my blog comments!!

        April 19, 2023 at 7:47 pm
      • editor


        It IS irritating – I know that myself and when I saw your comments in the moderation email on my arrival back at my computer, I couldn’t believe it was still happening. Petrus’s comments, some of them, were also lurking in moderation. Anyway, I think it’s fixed now – for a while, at least.

        April 19, 2023 at 8:11 pm
      • Athanasius


        It does seem to be ok now, so no problem. I know you’ve had trouble with this moderation nonsense for a while, but I think you’ve solved it now.

        April 19, 2023 at 9:40 pm
  • Petrus Reply


    I think you are highlighting a key problem with some priests that are new to the Traditional Mass and tend to celebrate both Masses. They are so used to the casual nature of the New Mass that they don’t think they are doing any harm. I agree that they should stick to the rubrics and not introduce any novelties whatsoever.

    April 19, 2023 at 11:58 am
  • Lady Letitia Reply

    To both Athanasius and Laura
    April 19 11.21 & 11.29.

    Thank you for commenting on what I was saying.
    When I first commented I thought what I was saying was self – limiting, it was to Margaret Mary saying that the TLM finishes at [Ite Missa Est] and I will not be swayed by any other argument.
    As for your other comment of all the liturgical abuses, I live in a TLM desert, the nearest Sunday Mass is 90 +/- 10 miles away. We then attend both TLM and NO depending on our situation.
    I spoke to a priest about a thread which was being discussed in our locale to which I was in a minority of 1 about Altar Girls, he didn’t say he agreed or disagreed but he did say that he was going to keep the present configuration of boys only serving at the churches and those that have girls to continue with the boys. I asked him was this the backdoor for women deacons, priests and eventually bishops. He agreed with me that it had not done the CofE any favours. Also years ago, I was at a parish meeting and the permanent deacon (isn’t always the permanent deacon) started speaking about lay involvement. Too late, I realised that he was targetting me for a EMHC, so I said “before you ask, the answer is no thanks”

    April 19, 2023 at 12:10 pm
    • Athanasius Reply

      Lady Letitia

      I’m very pleased to hear that the priest you speak of is resisting the irreverence of altar girls, which is extremely dangerous and is, as you rightly observe, a prelude to women deacons and priests. History demonstrates that only pagans had priestesses in their religions. The law of God, as can be seen through the old and new Testaments, is that those who serve as priests must be male. And then we have the example of Our Lady who never once put herself into any kind of liturgical position, even though she was superior in grace to the Apostles. Altar girls and women priests emanate straight from Hell. These abuses are the invention of Lucifer, designed to destroy the faith by degrading the liturgy and male priesthood instituted by Our Lord.

      As for your attendance at the Novus Ordo, I can understand your dilemma. For me personally, if I couldn’t get to a TLM then I would stay at home and sanctify my Sundays with the rosary and reading the Mass of the day in my missal. I know this sounds a bit extreme but wild horses could not drag me back to these Novus Ordo churches wherein Our Lord is daily and weekly treated with contempt, not least in that horrendous practice of lay people handling Holy Communion. That’s also straight from Hell and I could not approve of it by my presence.

      April 19, 2023 at 1:01 pm
    • editor Reply

      Margaret Mary,, Laura, Lady Letitia, Athanasius,

      I’d almost forgotten that I sent some of your early comments/questions about the priest making announcements before the Last Gospel, to a TLM priest (I’ll put it no stronger than that – no names, no pack drill 😀 ) and only remembered when his reply arrived just now – he writes…

      “I am not an expert on rubrics but there are some basic principles that need to be grasped. The action of the Mass begins with the prayers at the foot of the Altar and ends with the conclusion of the Last Gospel. The priest wears the maniple to indicate that he is acting “in persona Christi” and he is not supposed to interject anything of his own into the Mass, period. If he breaks the flow of the Mass, such as when he preaches or gives a homily, he removes the maniple to indicate that it is not Christ speaking but man (the priest). Ordinarily announcements or parish notices are made just before [the] homily is given. In the case that he forgot to do so at the homily, he can do so after the Last Gospel, when he removes the maniple to recite the Leonine prayers. The Leonine prayers are not part of the Mass.
      Hope this helps…

      Yes, it helps, because when I’ve witnessed the priest suddenly turning round to make an announcement at the epistle side before the Last Gospel, my gut reaction is always the same… gimme a break” Is there no end to this? One innovation after another…

      Between witnessing two priests removing the chasuble before preaching and another one reading the epistle and Gospel in English, he standing side-ways (I assume to give the illusion that we are all, at least, HALF involved/HALF “participating”… goodness!) and then witnessing another priest suddenly breaking the flow of the Mass to make an announcement, I have asked myself if there is anywhere, anywhere in the world, not just Scotland, where I can go to Mass as it was when I was growing up in the pre-revolutionary (i.e. pre Vatican II) days. So far, the answer seems to be a resounding “no!”

      The mystifying thing is, I’m reliably informed by traditional priests that the TLM is just SO clearly set out for priests to follow; they have no work to do, simply follow the rubric End of. Which begs the question, which part of “follow the rubric” do they not understand?

      April 21, 2023 at 3:18 pm
      • Lady Letitia

        “In the case that he forgot to do so at the homily, he can do so after the Last Gospel, when he removes the maniple to recite the Leonine prayers. The Leonine prayers are not part of the Mass.”

        This appears to be me being challenging and not being instructed by the priest who has kindly advised us. It raises another observation… I’ve never seen the priest remove the maniple to pray the Leonine Prayers, because I thought his hands are full of the chalice with chalice veil etc. and he needs his other hand free so that he can remove his birreta for the Marian anthem then genuflecting as he passes the tabernacle, as he’s returning to the sacristy (in our church at least). So this still seems that the priest is having to adapt the rubrics according to the particular circumstances he finds himself in.

        April 23, 2023 at 1:22 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Lady Letitia,

        It is not up to any priest to either omit the homily (which that same priest does) or to suddenly turn round to make an announcement before the Last Gospel. Nobody should need to know every single rubric – we got along for many years with priests doing the same thing until recently. There were NO announcements in that church this morning by the priest – but before Mass one of the servers came on to make an announcement about some event happening on Tuesday. They seem to make it all up as they go along. I’m resigned to putting up with it, though, so I’ll sign off now on this particular issue. And before you say it, no way the SSPX, even they do their own thing with the silly removal of the chasuble before preaching, so there is no safe haven anywhere these days. If you want to find a Mass faithful to the rubrics and minus individual priests’ preferences, you have to find a time machine to take you back to the 1950s, LOL!

        April 23, 2023 at 5:13 pm
  • Petrus Reply


    It makes a difference from my posts going into moderation FOR a reason (too soon?)!

    April 19, 2023 at 8:11 pm
    • editor Reply


      Yes, happier days! Deo gratias!

      April 19, 2023 at 10:23 pm

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