Servant of God János Brenner

Birth into heaven: 15 December 1957

János Brenner was born on 27 December 1931 in Szombathely, in a deeply religious family. Both he and his two brothers became priests. He attended the Episcopal Elementary School, then the grammar school of the Cistercian monks in Pécs, and, at last, the grammar school of the Premonstratensian canons regular in Szombathely. Following the nationalization of schools, he passed his school leaving exams in Zirc as a Cistercian oblate, and afterwards he was admitted to the novitiate, where he was given the name of Anasztáz. After the dissolution of the religious orders, he studied at the Theological Academy of Budapest for a year as a lay student, then he went on to study at the seminary of Szombathely as a seminarist of the diocese. When the seminary was closed, he continued his theological studies in Győr. He was ordained priest on 19 June 1955. The new priest started his ministry in Rábakethely as chaplain. He carried out a dynamic pastoral activity, especially among the young people. The authorities, which persecuted the Church, disapproved of his activity, especially amidst the reprisals following the revolution of 1956.

During the night of 15 December 1957, when he was preparing his Sunday homily for the next day, János Brenner was falsely called to a sick person. He took his bag that he used for visits to the sick, with the Blessed Sacrament inside, and left for the village of Zsida with his assistant through the path crossing the hills. He was attacked and brutally stabbed 32 times between the two villages. The people who lived nearby called the doctor, but it was already too late: the young chaplain had passed away. Even in his death he was defending the Blessed Sacrament with his left hand. He was buried on 18 December in the family crypt of the Salesian church of Saint Quirinus in Szombathely. The authorities tried to disperse the crowd of faithful gathered for his funeral, therefore they only gave permission for the funeral at a later hour than originally published. His priestly motto was inscribed on his tomb: "All things work together for good to those who love God".

In the course of the investigation following his death, the authorities tried to intimidate the inhabitants of the nearby villages, and the murder had probably served the same goal. Nevertheless, it proved impossible to cancel the memory of the young priest. On the contrary, his veneration continually increased. On the spot of the martyrdom of the "Hungarian Tarcisius", between the villages of Rábakethely and Zsida, the Chapel of the Good Pastor was built in 1989 in honour of his life sacrifice.

CCS protocol number: 2399

Diocesan inquiry
Competent forum: Diocese of Szombathely
Competent bishop: Diocesan bishop István Konkoly, Diocesan bishop András Veres
Postulator: László Gyürki
Diocesan inquiry: 3 October 1999 – 31 July 2008

Inquiry of the Holy See (CCS)
Decree on validity of diocesan inquiry: 30 September 2009
Promulgation of papal decree on martyrdom:

Let us pray for his beatification!

Prayer for his beatification

Almighty and eternal God, you gave your servant János the grace of the priestly vocation

and you deemed him worthy of the great gift of martyrdom. We ask you to glorify him in your Church.

May his faithful and exemplary life and his death as a martyr while fulfilling his priestly vocation

obtain for us the grace of growing stronger in our faith

and of accepting the struggle and the suffering for the coming of your kingdom.

Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.


Those who obtain favours through his intercession are asked to notify the
Diocesan Authority
9701 Szombathely, Pf. 41.

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