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St Conrad of Parzham

Answered the door and served guests for 40 years

© Dalibri CC

Capuchin Franciscan Lay Brother: 1818-1894

His life

+ Conrad Birndorfer was born in Parzham (Bavaria). He was the ninth child of a family of poor farmers. As a child, he had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

+ Following his parents’ death when he was 16 years old, Conrad decided to dedicate his life to prayer and charity. In 1849, he entered the Capuchin Franciscans.

+ Conrad was sent to the Capuchin friary in Altötting, where there is a well-known shrine to Our Lady. He served the community there for more than 40 years as porter, answering the door, serving the poor, and welcoming guests. He is also honored for the care he provided for abandoned children.

+ Brother Conrad was known for his humility and warm hospitality and his special devotions were the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin.

+ Conrad of Parzham died on April 21, 1890, and was canonized in 1934.

Spiritual Bonus

The simple life of Saint Cronad shares similarities with the lives of two other religious brothers who also served their communities by welcoming guests and caring for the poor: Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez (Society of Jesus—the Jesuits) and Saint André Besette (Congregation of Holy Cross). The witness of these saints reminds us of the spiritual value of hospitality and also invites us to pray for all those men who serve the Church as religious brothers.


“The Cross is my book… one glance at it teaches me what I should do in every situation.”—Saint Conrad of Parzham


Merciful God,
through the service of Saint Conrad
you were pleased to open wide to the faithful
the portal of your mercy.
May we pursue his spirit of poverty
and humility of heart in serving our brothers and sisters.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Franciscan Sacramentary [1974])


Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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