Karaganda (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church in Kazakhstan has officially opened the diocesan phase of the beatification process of Gertrude Detzel, a lay Catholic, who "through her fervent faith and example of life, influenced the development of vocations to the priesthood and religious life", said to Fides Mgr. Adelio Dell’Oro, Bishop of the diocese of Karaganda, the city where the Servant of God lived until her death in 1971.
Since her childhood, Gertrude Detzel dreamed of devoting herself to the Lord, she wanted to become a nun, but in the USSR this dream could not be embodied in a “canonical” form, and so "she became a servant of God in the world: she announced the Good News and catechized people with her word, prayer, but above all with the example of a holy life, which was particularly precious and necessary in the absence of priests and open churches", explains the Bishop.
At the beginning of the war in 1941, Gertrude Detzel was deported to the city of Pakhta Aral in southern Kazakhstan, where she picked cotton and continued personal prayer and her evangelization efforts by quietly leading people to God. She has been transferred multiple times and sentenced to forced labor. In 1956 she was allowed to leave the last camp she was deported to and moved to Karaganda, where she dedicated herself entirely to the service of the many believers in the area.
"This courageous woman not only managed to keep her faith under the difficult conditions of Stalinist oppression, but also fearlessly preached Jesus Christ to the prisoners of the Gulag", says the short biography written by the postulator Father Ruslan Rachimbernov. At the beginning of the diocesan phase of the process, a special commission was set up to collect testimony about Gertrude Detzel's life. At the end of the diocesan phase of the process, the documents are sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which deals with the process in a second phase. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 26/8/2021)