"Here I am for here I have to be!" used to say Johann Schaas, the last Saxon villager of Richiș.
Herr Johann Schaas has always been a charming host to all those willing to visit the Gothic Saxon church built in the 14th century by the Cistercian monks.
In June 2023, at the age of 90, the man who delighted us with his stories and his memories, the man who seemed to be an organic part of Richis' venerable Saxon church, has finally left his village.
He left behind the small sculptures decorating the church that he brought to light in the 1990s after removing the Reformation's layers of chalk, he left behind, with us, the little "Grünnen Mann" - the "little devils" sculptures of which he spoke with such spirit to his visitors, and set off for the heavenly homeland.
We last met him in late February 2023, with a group of Rangers of the Guides d'Europe on their Road between Mediaș, Moșna, Richiș, and Biertan. The girls pleasantly surprized Johann Schaas by singing to him a youthful Christian hymn - "Our Father" that goes like this:
Leaving behind friends, brothers,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Johann Schaas eventually ended his journey on this earth by setting off to meet our Lord and Savior Jesus whom he loved so much!
The Saxon fortified churches of Transylvania