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John Neumann

From Academic Kids

A separate article covers John von Neumann the mathematician and computer scientist.


Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Johannes Nepomuk Neumann, or Jan Nepomuk Neumann (March 28 1811 - January 5 1860) was the earliest United States citizen so far to have become a saint.

Neumann was born in Prachatice, Bohemia and attended school in Budweis before entering its seminary in 1831. Two years later he transferred to the University of Prague, where he studied theology. He intended to be ordained, but the Bishop of Bohemia, in 1835, decided there would be no more ordinations, as Bohemia had a high number of priests already.

Neumann, who spoke six languages, then wrote to other bishops in Europe, but they all replied that they had too many priests. He was inspired by the missionary writings of Bishop Frederic Baraga in America, and because he had learned English by working in a factory with English-speaking workers, Neumann wrote to bishops in America, requesting to become ordained in the United States.

Neumann moved to New York with hardly any money and was ordained in June 1836. He was assigned to mission churches near Buffalo, New York until he decided to apply to the Redemptorists. In January 1842, he took his vows in Baltimore, Maryland and became the first redemptorist of the new world. Neumann was naturalized in Baltimore on February 10 1848.

In March 1852, John was consecrated in Baltimore, as Bishop of Philadelphia. He was the first to organize a diocesan Catholic school system and increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese from two to one hundred.

John Neumann collapsed and died in a Philadelphia street at age 48.

He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in June 1977. His feast day is January 5. His remains are on display in a glass enclosure in the basement of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Philadelphia.

External link

fr:John Neumann

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