Father Hartmann Bottger, a Benedictine monk and priest, has confronted bullies his entire life, including pompous clerics, local thugs, and callous and corrupt French Army occupation authorities in the German Rhineland. But Father Hartmann faces his greatest challenges with the rise to power of the Nazi Party and the brutality of the dreaded Gestapo, which threaten the rights of the Church as well as the lives and spiritual beliefs of Father Harti and the members of his small village parish.
The Humble Courier takes place in Germany during the turbulent years from the end of the Great War to the beginning of World War II. It is the story of a German soldier who believes he has been called to the Roman Catholic priesthood and tasked with fighting evil and protecting the weak from the strong. Although Father Hartmann initially employs passive resistance to fulfill what he perceives to be his mission, he comes to the conclusion that more aggressive—even violent—means are necessary to confront the awesome power of the SS and the Gestapo. Employing unlikely allies and extraordinary methods, Father Hartmann sets out to take the fight to his enemies, justifying his actions with St. Augustine’s proverb “Punishment is justice for the unjust.”