St. John Neumann

Feast Days: January 5
Time Period: 1811-1860
Place: United States of America
Patronage: unknown

In 1835, John Neumann completed his studies for the priesthood in Europe. At this time there was an overabundance of priest, so bishops were not ordaining anyone. St. Neumann wrote to the bishops in North American and was ordained by the Bishop of New York in 1836. He was assigned to Germanspeaking communities around Niagara Falls. In 1852 he was appointed Bishop of Philadelphia. Criticized by many influential, wealthy Catholics because he was not charismatic, eloquent, handsome or refined and had a thick accent, St. Neumann had an uphill battle as he built new churches, organized the first Catholic diocesan school system, founded the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Philadelphia, and originated the Forty Hours Devotion. St. John Neumann is best known for his extraordinary spirituality, intense devotion to the Eucharist and selfless commitment to the service of all people.

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