The Diocese of Munich-Freising has opened a process for possible beatification of one of the prominent figures of the Liturgical Movement in Germany, Romano Guardini (1885-1968). The Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, will preside over a solemn liturgy in the Cathedral this coming Saturday, December 16, to mark the official beginning of the process. Together with Romano Guardini, another Catholic writer, the historian and publisher Fritz Michael Gerlich, who was killed by the Nazis in Dachau in 1934(!) for his texts against the regime, will also be proposed for possible beatification.
Romano Guardini’s book The Spirit of the Liturgy, published in 1918, is rightly seen as a classic text of the emerging Liturgical Movement. The author was ordained in 1910 in the German diocese of Mainz, and served as a pastoral leader in the Catholic youth movement while also pursuing a scholarly career. He taught in Berlin (until forced to resign under pressure from the Nazis), Tübingen, and Munich. When Pope John XXIII announced his plans for a Second Vatican Council, Romano Guardini was appointed to the commission on the liturgy but his declining health, including bouts with deep depression, prevented him from participating. His most remarkable and much-quoted contribution came in an “Open Letter” that Guardini penned in 1964, in which he raised a burning question. This question was both unsettling and visionary, coming as it did in the jubilant months after the promulgation of Sacrosanctum Concilium.: “Should we, instead of talking about renewal, not rather ask in which way the divine mysteries must be celebrated so that people today can place themselves, with their particular truth, within these mysteries?”
Guardini died in 1968 and was initially buried in the cemetery of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Munich. His remains were moved in 1997 to a side chapel of the University Church, the Sankt Ludwig Kirche, in which Guardini had often preached while teaching at the University.
Click here to see a prayer for the beatification of Guardini.
 Romano Guardini in an open letter to Johannes Wagner, April 1, 1964; published in Liturgisches Jahrbuch 14 (1964) 101-106, p. 106. English translation mine.