Saint John Neumann
St. John Neumann (1811-1860) was born in Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic. He entered the seminary, and when the day came for his ordination to the priesthood, his bishop fell ill and couldn't proceed with the ceremony. However, because Bohemia had an over-abundance of priests, John's ordination was never rescheduled. Undeterred in pursuing his priestly vocation, John decided to go to America to seek ordination. He came to the United States in 1836 as a missionary priest to serve America's European immigrant population. He was ordained in New York, joined the Redemptorists, and was later consecrated a bishop. He is famous for knowing twelve languages and for being the first American man and American bishop to be canonized. St. John Neumann left his impact on the United States by building a vast number of churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages. The number of parochial school students greatly increased in his diocese. St. John Neumann had a strong effect on the religious life of the laity in the United States, especially in his promotion of devotion to the Holy Eucharist. His feast day is January 5th.
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