• The road to Christ

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jan 5 00:19:08 2021
    The road to Christ

    The road pointed out to you is not a long one; you do not have to
    cross the seas or pierce the clouds or climb mountains to meet your
    God. Enter into your own soul and you will find him, for his word is
    near you; it is on your lips and in your heart. Go down deep into your
    heart until you are stirred to compunction; make your confession, and
    so at least turn your back on a conscience so defiled as to be
    unworthy of entertaining the author of purity.
    --Bernard of Clairvaux

    January 5th - St. John Nepomucene Neumann.
    Also known as Giovanni Nepomuceno Neumann, Jan Nepomucký Neumann

    Born in Prachititz, Bohemia (now Czech Republic), March 28, 1811; died
    in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on January 5, 1860; beatified
    1963; canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul IV, the first American male
    saint. John was the third of six children of a German father, Philip,
    and Czech mother, Agnes. His parents owned a small stocking factory.
    John was named after a 14th-century Bohemian martyr, John Nepomucene.

    As a young boy he showed great intellect as well as a religious
    vocation. He was educated in Budweis (original home of that now famous
    American beer/swill) and began at the diocesan seminary there in 1831.
    John was especially interested in botany and astronomy, in addition to
    theology and Scripture. Two years later he continued his study of
    theology at the Charles Ferdinand University in Prague. Because of the overabundance of clergy, the Austrian government delayed his
    ordination, so he decided to go to America as a missionary. He arrived
    in Manhattan (New York) in June 1836, and was warmly welcomed by
    Bishop John DuBois of New York, even though he was unannounced. On
    June 28, 1836, John was ordained by Bishop James, who sent him to
    engage in pastoral work among German-speaking Catholics, who were
    clearing forests in the district of Niagara (upstate New York).

    Four years of constant and isolated labor left him with a knowledge of
    his own need for support and an appreciation of the value of community
    activity in missionary work. Therefore, he entered the novitiate of
    the newly-established branch of the Redemptorists at Saint Philomena's
    in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1840. When he made his vows in
    Baltimore, Maryland, in 1841, he became the first Redemptorist to take
    his vows in the United States. He continued his missionary activities
    as a mission preacher in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
    He became rector of Saint Philomena's in 1844. In 1847, John was named
    vice regent and superior of the American Redemptorists, while he was a
    parish priest in Baltimore. Most of his parish work involved the
    establishment of parochial schools. Because of his outstanding
    pastoral work, John was appointed the fourth bishop of Philadelphia in
    1852 by Pope Pius IX--a diocese that had not accepted him when he
    first came to America.

    During his episcopate he followed the full spirit of the Redemptorist
    founder, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, by making especially his own the
    care of the materially and spiritually impoverished. Much of his time
    was spent in visiting the remote and hitherto neglected areas of his
    diocese. Diminutive in stature and lacking in 'charisma,' John Neumann
    devoted time to encouraging others, especially nuns and other
    laypeople, to lives of hidden sanctity.

    He reorganized the diocese, inaugurating a widespread program of new
    parish building (100 additional churches) and expanding the parochial
    school system with 80 new schools. The population of his schools
    increased 20-fold after he attracted a number of teaching orders to
    staff them. He founded the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who observe
    the rule of the 'active' Franciscan Third Order, for religious
    teaching and to staff his orphanage. He also introduced the devotion
    of Forty Hours and began work on a cathedral.

    He made his ad limina visits to Rome and was there in 1854 at the
    formal declaration of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the
    Blessed Virgin Mary (American bishops in council at Baltimore had
    already chosen Mary under this title as patroness of the United

    He wrote much during this time--including articles for newspapers--and
    produced two catechisms that were very popular in the United States in
    the 19th century. The catechisms were endorsed by the American bishops
    at their first Plenary Council in 1852. He continued to compose his
    most important works in German, although he was fluent in seven other languages.

    At the time of his sudden death in 1860 on Vine Street in
    Philadelphia, he was worn out by his labors. Already he was renowned
    for his holiness, charity, pastoral work, and preaching. Popular
    devotion preceded the official investigation and approval of his
    cultus. After over 100 years, with the continued support of both his
    diocese and the Redemptorists, he was canonized (Attwater,
    Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Walsh, White).

    Saint Quotes:
    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

    A man must always be ready, for death comes when and where God wills it. --Saint John Neumann

    Bible Quote:
     He hath put down the mighty from their throne, and hath exalted the
    humble.  (Luke 1:52)

      "Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds and you give without measure.
    All that I have comes from you. May I give freely and generously in
    gratitude for all that you have given to me. Take my life and all that
    I possess--my gifts, talents, time and resources--and use them as you
    see fit for your glory."

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