Our Patron Saint
St. John Neumann was the fourth bishop of
Known for a lifetime of pastoral work, especially among poor German immigrants, Bishop John Neumann was the first American man to be named saint.
John Nepomucene Neumann was born on
During his seminary days, John had read with great interest the quarterly reports of the Missionary Society of St. Leopold containing accounts of the pioneering work being done in the
A few days after arriving in
Father John Neumann devoted himself to the pastoral care of all the outlying places in the parish of
Father Neumann could not long keep up the strenuous work he was doing. He began to suffer from fevers that lasted as long as three months. At Easter time, 1840, he had a complete breakdown; and after recovering to some extent, he made up his mind to join the Redemptorists. After being accepted into the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, John was directed to go to
Father Neumann was the first novice of the Redemptorists in the
In 1852, he was nominated for the position of Bishop of Philadelphia and he accepted the appointment only because Pope Pius IX commanded him to do so. The Diocese of Philadelphia was at this time the largest in the country, comprising eastern
Bishop Neumann was the first in the
Though Bishop Neumann had suffered from frequent illnesses, his sudden death, at the age of 48, was wholly unexpected. On
The cause of his beautification was begun in 1886. Ten years later, he received the title of "Venerable." In February, 1963, Pope John XXIII issued the proclamation for his beautification, but the ceremony was delayed by the death of Pope John and Pope Paul VI beautified him on October 13th. His canonization followed in June of 1977. His feast day is January 5th.