Forty days ago, on October 27, our dear brother King Johann Hobl from Vienna, Austria, suddenly and surprisingly transitioned to his eternal home in the spiritual world. His heart simply stopped beating.
Johann (age 71) was and is a very exemplary brother. With the strong support of his wife, Queen Madeleine, he was and continues to be one of the most active and outgoing supporters of True Father and his heir and successor, the Second King Hyung Jin Moon.
He shared the Divine Principle every two weeks at their home in Vienna with guests and local brothers and sisters. He and Madeleine also regularly hosted seminars at their home, where they spoke on spirituality and physical health topics. As many as twenty people would attend these events. Johann also participated several times in anti-lockdown protests in Vienna's city center. When requested, he would take the microphone and share his views with the crowd of protesters.
He also distributed letters and statements he had drafted. These discussed the relevance of the day's events to the Divine Principle viewpoint and the historic times we live in, mentioning True Father as the Lord at the Second Advent who has already come. He wrote his autobiography about his life in attendance of the Messiah and his heir and successor. He distributed his autobiography to people interested in his motives and the True Parent's message at events he attended. He also presented it to VIPs he met, such as local police officials, politicians, and guests attending the seminars at his home.
Johann was the Vice President of the European Sanctuary Association established in Germany. He attended the Rod of Iron Festival in Pennsylvania three years ago. He volunteered to do restoration work at the King's palace. He actively participated in the 40-day prayer vigil for little Marlene, the one-and-a-half-year-old daughter of a blessed family who miraculously came out of a coma and began breathing on her own on the same day as Johann's transition.
Johann grew up as the eldest of seven children in the beautiful Austrian countryside. He joined the Unification Church in 1974 in Austria and dedicated himself fully to witnessing in several Austrian cities. He supported and attended True Father's campaign and speech at Madison Square Garden, NY, in 1974.
1978 he was matched and blessed by True Father in London with Queen Madeleine from France. Johann stayed in the UK to join the newly launched Home Church mission under the guidance of True Father. When he returned to Vienna several years later, he passed a master's examination in his profession as a painter. He started his own business, doing renovation and repair work for paying customers and many Austrian churches and homes of blessed families.
The couple has four adult children: two sons and two daughters.
The Hobl couple are National Messiahs to Brunei, a small Muslim country on the island of Borneo. They visited this country in 1998 and continued to support the mission in this country through their presence and other means.
Johann published four books related to his life, mission, and outreach. He was a talented artist and singer. For decades he sang in a Vienna choir that performed regularly.
We will never forget Johann's kind and humble character. He is such a faithful, loyal person in faith in Christ, in his family, and toward all the people he encountered. He was a man of practical skills who helped many people, often charging nothing or very little when people were in need.
At this time, when Europe and Austria, in particular, are under spiritual and political attack, God seems to be calling His most faithful champions first. He needs strong, benevolent, and faithful warriors in both worlds. Johann is undoubtedly one of these warriors.
God bless our humble brother, Johann.
(text written by Christian Seeburger, European Sanctuary Coordinator)