Saturday, January 5, 2008

St. John Neumann

"Since every man of whatever race is endowed with the dignity of a person, he has an inalienable right to an education corresponding to his proper destiny and suited to his native talents, his cultural background, and his ancestral heritage. At the same time, this education should pave the way to brotherly association with other peoples, so that genuine unity and peace on earth may be promoted. For a true education aims at the formation of the human person with respect to the good of those societies of which, as a man, he is a member, and in whose responsibilities, as an adult, he will share." - Saint John Neumann

Named after St. John Nepomucene, John Neumann (1811-1860) was a quiet boy with four other siblings, and was also an excellent student. He studied theology, astronomy, botany, and some theological topics, and at an early age he felt the call to the priesthood. Years later, he became a seminarian at Budweis, Bohemia. Unfortunately, due to the vast number of priests in Bohemia and because the bishop had an illness, he was not able to ordained even when he was ready.

Later, he decided to travel to America to be ordained and to work with emigres, and he arrived unannounced in Manhattan in 1836. The bishop was glad to have him, since there were about 36 priests working for 200,000 Catholics. John was finally ordained there in June, 1836. He was afterwards sent to Buffalo where he was given a choice by the parish priest, either to be in the city of Buffalo, or of the rural area. John chose the difficult area, rebuilt a church in a small town, and then moved to another town where he built himself a small log cabin. He slept little there, often lived on bread and water, and walked several miles to reach farm after farm.

In 1840, he joined the Redemptorists, and took his vows in Baltimore, Maryland in 1841. He became a home missionary in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In 1847, John Vice-regent and superior of the Redemptorists in America, and in 1852 he became Bishop of Philadelphia.
St. John Neumann built fifty churches, and started on a cathedral, he opened almost 100 schools and the parochial school students grew from 500 to 9000 in his diocese, he wrote two catechisms, many works in German, and newspaper articles.
He was beatified on the 13th of October, 1963, at Rome, Italy, and Canonized on the 19th of June, 1977, by Pope Paul VI.

Merciful Father, You have given me all that I have in this world, even life itself. In all my daily needs, help me to remember the needs of others too. Make me aware of the need to pray to You not just for myself but for the Church, the Pope, for the clergy and for people who suffer any need. Make me as selfless as Saint John Neumann. Throughout my life, give me the grace to direct my first thoughts to the service of You and of others. Make my prayer - "Your will be done" knowing that in Your mercy and love, Your will for me is my sanctification. I ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.


Easter A. said...

WOW Ashley!
I love your prayer!
Mom :-)

Charity Therese said...

Hi Mom...I didn't make that prayer...I don't think I'm that good and making prayers...:-)