St. Jan Neumann, Redemptorist
Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, was born on March 28, 1811 in Prachatycze, Bohemia, to Philip Neumann and Inés Lebis. He attended school in Budejovice and entered the seminary there in 1831. He is the first priest to enter the Congregation in America. Baltimore takes his vows in 1842. From the very beginning, his religious confreres appreciate him very much for his sanctity, apostolic zeal and pleasant manner. The knowledge of 6 modern languages makes him especially prepared to work in the multilingual American community of the 19th century. He works in Baltimore and Pitzburg. In 1847 he is appointed visitator or major superior of the Redemptorists in the United States. Father Neumann was appointed Bishop of Philadelphia and was consecrated in Baltimore on March 28, 1852. His diocese is huge and is going through a period of lively development. The first thing he did as a bishop was to organize a diocesan network of Catholic schools. He was the founder of a Catholic formation in his country, he increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese to one hundred. In addition to numerous articles he wrote for Catholic journals, he also published two catechisms, and in 1849 – a history of the Bible for school use. He remained active until the very end. On January 5, 1860, at the age of 48, he died in one of the streets of his episcopal city before the last Sacraments were administered to him. Pope Paul VI was beatified on October 13, 1963, and he also canonized him on June 27, 1977.