January 5 – Saint John Neumann

Born in Bohemia, what is now part of the Czech Republic, John is considered to be the first American saint. He had wanted to be a priest in his country and joined the seminary, but when the time of his ordination arrived, the bishop became ill. And because there were sufficient priests in the country, they did not set a new date. John then decided to come to the United States to be ordained. He arrived to New York in 1836 where, at that time, there were only 36 priests for 200,000 Catholics. A few days after his arrival, John was ordained and sent to Buffalo. John spoke eight languages, he learned English and Gaelic. Later he learned two more. In 1852 he was named bishop of Philadelphia. He built fifty churches and many parish schools. He suddenly died at the age of only 49.

What do you think about what God can ask of you at this very moment, in your current circumstances?


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