When the Nazis took over Austria, Sister Maria Restituta (1894-1943) was very vocal in her opposition. “A Viennese cannot keep her mouth shut,” she said.
Sister Restituta was a nurse. She hung a crucifix in every room in the hospital where she worked. The Nazis demanded the crosses be taken down. She refused. She also spread “A Soldier’s Song,” which spoke of democracy, peace, and a free Austria. (I cannot find the lyrics to this song in English. Please send if you have them!)
She was eventually arrested and sentenced to death by the guillotine for “favoring the enemy and conspiracy to commit high treason.” The Nazis thought her execution would provide effective intimidation for others who might want to resist. She was beheaded on 30 March 1943 at the age of 48.
On June 21, 1998, she was beatified in Vienna. Pope John Paul II said: “Many things can be taken from us Christians. But we will not let the Cross as a sign of salvation be taken from us. We will not let it be removed from public life! We will listen to the voice of our conscience, which says: ‘We must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29).”