Redemptorist Priest (1751-1820)
+Born in Moravia in 1751, Johannes Hofbauer’s family’s poverty prevented him from studying for the priesthood. He worked as a baker to support himself.
+ An act of kindness to two wealthy women (he had offered to call their carriage for them when they were caught by a rainstorm after Mass in the cathedral) inspired the ladies to support his priestly studies. Johannes eventually entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemportists) and was ordained a priest in 1785. He received the religious name “Clement Mary.”
+ Clement Mary helped establish the Redemptorist communities Poland, Prussia, Germany, Switzerland, and Romaniaand is celebrated as the “Second Founder” of the community. Beyond his service to his religious community, Clement Mary had a great love for children, especially orphans.
+ On one of his begging expeditions to support the orphans he cared for, a man who was playing cards in a tavern replied to his appeal for funds by spitting in Clement Mary’s face. The priest was unmoved and said to him, “That was for me. How please let me have something for my poor children.” The man later took Clement Mary as his regular confessor.
+ On March 9, 1819, he traveled through a snowstorm to celebrate a requiem Mass for Princess Jablonowska, who had helped him while he was working in Warsaw, Poland. He died six days later after a brief illness.
+Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer was canonized in 1909 and is honored as one of the patrons saint of Vienna, Austria, and Warsaw, Poland.
For prayer and reflection
“I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of begin well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.”—Philippians 4:13
Gracious God, our God of care and compassion for humanity, you filled St. Clement Mary Hofbauer with a special zeal for the well-being of people, especially those who are poor or troubled in spirit. In St. Clement you revealed the richness of your loving kindness and mercy.
Through his intercession, help us to remain true to the Catholic faith, which he so nobly taught. Let us walk in the path that St. Clement marked out by his own life. Hear and answer us, God, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(from Living Redemptorist Spirituality: Prayers, Devotions and Reflections)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.