Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
By Lucas Alves

Saint Francis was born on January 11, 1819 in Germany. Francis was also baptized in the church of St. Mang in Germany. Francis wanted to be a priest ever since he was a kid. He went to Seminary in the year 1842 after he finished studying philosophy. He wanted to move to the United States to preach to immigrants in English and German. Francis finally arrived in New York in April of 1843 after a congregation accepted him. Francis became a priest after finishing his theological and novitiate studies in December 22, 1844. Seelos was ordained a priest in the Redemptorist Church of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland.

He spent some time in the Redemptorist church of St. James. Francis then worked for nine years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at St. Philomena after being ordained. Francis became a superior priest after working with St. John Neumann as an assistant priest. He became a pastor at St. Philomena’s for three years. John Neumann meant a lot to Francis. He said that "John Neumann has introduced me to the active life" and, "he has guided me as a spiritual director and confessor." John Neumann is another great saint.

Francis said that he would also preach missions, like St. John Neumann. Francis’s extreme kindness to the people made him an expert confessor and director. Many people came from neighboring towns to see St. Francis. He was transferred to Cumberland, Maryland in 1854, and later to Annapolis in 1862. Francis always paid attention to all of his students who were in need of help. Francis always stayed a happy and kind pastor. In the office of the bishop in Pittsburgh he was made a candidate. Francis dedicated his life to preaching in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and finally Wisconsin. He was assigned to the Redemptorist church in New Orleans in 1866. Francis was always helpful to the poor and abandoned. After visiting many people with yellow fever, he caught the disease and, after a few weeks, died on October 4, 1867, at the age of 48 years and 9 months.

I think Francis could have taught me so much on how I should love God more than anything in my entire life. He would have encouraged me to do things that God would want me to do. That is why Blessed Saint Francis Xavier Seelos is my role model. I ask that he prays for me and my family. 

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