Saint John Neumann
About Saint John Neumann
Saint John Neumann was born in Bohemia on the 28th of March in 1811.
St. John's family was very well-off and gave him all the tools to make a
good life for himself. They sent him to a prestigious school in the
area to learn. John went to this school and led a pretty typical life,
until he turned twenty. It was at this time that John really decided
that he wanted to live a religious lifestyle.
John took four years of learning more about the Catholic lifestyle he
yearned to lead. He decided by 1835 that he truly wanted to be a
priest. The only problem was that the bishop of Bohemia had just
declared that new priests would not be ordained for a few years in
Bohemia because of an excess. This news was devastating to John, but he
did not become discouraged by it.
realized that America needed priests badly at this time, and that he
could go there and become a priest almost immediately. He moved there
and began working a normal job to gain some money and learn English. He
would learn English pretty quickly and then find the local bishop from
where he was located. After a few talks, John was told he would be
going to New York to become a priest.
was needed desperately in New York, they were lacking priests at the
time. John was given his own parish to head, and it was a large one
too! He made sure to travel all over the parish to give Mass because of
the sheer size of his parish.
John loved being a
priest, and he also wanted to become even more involved in the Catholic
religion. He joined a group called the Redemptorists, a congregation of
Catholic men who worked hard to improve their areas. John was also made
bishop of the city of Philadelphia after he joined the congregation.
His main work was to make the Catholic schools in Philadelphia better.
Saint John really worked hard to better his diocese when he was bishop. John saw many different immigrants coming to his diocese while he was in charge. He took it upon himself to learn the many languages that were spoken by all these immigrants. This helped to create a more welcoming atmosphere for the immigrants.
Saint John would sadly
die of natural causes on January 5, 1860 in his diocese of
Philadelphia. In 1977, he became a saint when Pope Paul VIcanonized him.
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