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Saint Joseph Freinademetz

Updated on July 1, 2010

About Saint Joseph Freinademetz

Saint Joseph Freinademetz was born in Badia, which was located in Austria at the time of his birth in April of 1852. Now it can be found in Italy. He was one of four children produced by the marriage of Giovanmattia and Anna Maria, his mother and father. Joseph was always very interested in the church and its teachings, and when he was 23 in 1875 he received the sacrament of Holy Orders and became a priest.

St. Joseph Freinademetz started off his days as a priest in a parish found in San Martino. Everybody there loved him and he loved being there, but he felt like he could be doing much more. He desired to become a missionary and help others around the world. He go in touch with Arnold Janssen, another saint of the Catholic Church, and he set him up with a missionary post in Steyl.

Hong Kong ended up being where Saint Joseph would make the greatest impact as a missionary. He worked there with John Anzer to convert the Chinese to Christianity. Many of them were not interested when Saint Joseph began his work, but he slowly gained more and more Chinese support and actually did a pretty decent job of converting them.

Saint Joseph found that the Chinese needed a form of writing to understand the Christian principles and ideas better. So he took it upon himself to learn how to write in Chinese, and then translate different books explaining the faith for them. This is how he saw so much success. Tuberculosis put Saint Joseph and his work out of commission for a while, but he recovered and came back in full force to try and keep spreading Christianity.

Joseph took a great risk in 1908 when a gigantic spread of typhus came over China. He felt obligated to help out whoever he could that was suffering. This honorable cause would lead to his death though. Joseph would get typhus from being so exposed to it all the time. On the 28th of January he passed away. This day is now remembered as his feast day. His canonization took place in October of 2003.


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