Arkadius Maria Wilhelm Spieker

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arkadius Maria Wilhelm Spieker FSC (born November 10, 1910 in Kassel as Wilhelm Spieker; † February 12, 1945 in Manila , Philippines ) was a Catholic friar of the brothers of the Christian schools founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle . On February 12, 1945, he and many of his companions were murdered by Japanese soldiers in Manila, Philippines. He is said to have forgiven his murderers while still in agony.


Wilhelm Spieker was born as the second child of the locomotive auxiliary heater Heinrich Spieker and Franziska Spieker in the Kassel district of Rothenditmold . He was baptized in St. Joseph's Church. His baptism entry is still there in the baptismal register. After the family had moved to Warburg shortly before the First World War , Spieker got to know the order of the brothers of the Christian schools . Although he initially wanted to become a blacksmith, he went to a boarding school run by the school brothers in Villingen , where he received his school education. In 1927 he entered the novitiate in Bad Honnef . There he received the religious name Arkadius . After studying in Villingen, he was first sent to Penang in Malaysia and Singapore . There he taught the lower classes.

During the Second World War , the brothers fled the English to Manila and Spieker taught there, among other things, in English. He was known as the "Apostle of the Catechism". After the American conquest of the Philippines, the Japanese took revenge on the civilian population. Many people at the De La Salle College, where Spieker worked, were tortured and killed. On February 12, 1945, Spieker and many of his companions, but also refugees who had sought refuge in the college, were killed in the Manila massacre . Spieker's skull was smashed in. Witnesses report that he prayed for his murderers while he was still dying.


Arkadius Spieker has not yet been canonized , but is listed by the diocese of Fulda in the list of blood and faith witnesses of the diocese of Fulda in the 20th century . In his baptistery, St. Joseph, the anniversary of his death is celebrated with a special service and a meeting of all the religious of the city of Kassel.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bishop of Fulda: Praise to God . Ed .: German Bishops' Conference. Diocese of Fulda. Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-460-42230-8 , p. 981 .
  2. Church commemorates Arkadius Hessisch-Niedersächsische Allgemeine from October 28, 2009
  3. Rothenditmold website