Thursday, July 18, 2019

St Clement Mary Hofbauer Biography – Feast Day: March 15 – Saint of the Day

St Clement Mary Hofbauer Feast Day, Date of Birth, Country of Birth, Profession, Place of Work, Date of Death, Place of Death, Beatification Date, Canonization Date

Clement Mary Hofbauer, Priest was born on 26 December 1751 in Czech Republic, Europe. Worked in Germany, Austria, and Poland. Died: 15 March 1820 in Vienna, Austria. Feast Day is celebrated on March 15.
The Memorial of St Clement Mary Hofbauer – Saint of the Day Biography

St Clement Mary Hofbauer, Priest Profile

Date of Birth 26 December 1751
Country of Birth Czech Republic of Europe
Matrimony/Holy Orders Priests who became Saints
Profession Priest
Place of Work Germany, Austria, and Poland
Date of Death 15 March 1820
Place of Death Vienna, Austria
Feast Day March 15
Beatification Beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 29 January 1888
Canonization Canonized by Pope Pius X on 20 May 1909
Patron Saint of Vienna, Austria (named by Pope Saint Pius X in 1914)

St Clement Mary Hofbauer Biography

He was also known as:

  • John Dvorák
  • Apostle of Vienna
  • Clemens Mary Hofbauer
  • Johannes Hofbauer
  • Klemens Maria
  • Second Founder of the Redemptorists

St Clement Mary Hofbauer was born on 26 December 1751 at Tasswitz, Moravia (now known as the Czech Republic) as John Dvorák. Clement was the ninth child of twelve children born to Maria Steer and Paul Hofbauer a butcher who changed the family name from the Moravian Dvorák to the Germanic Hofbauer.

At the age of six, Clement’s father died. He felt a call to the priesthood, but his family was too poor to afford his education. He was a novitiate and tradesman baker at the Premonstratensian monastery at Bruck, Germany. Clement was a Hermit.

He then began studying Latin at the home of the local parish priest. This was to be the first step on Hofbauer’s long road to the priesthood. Clement’s period of study ended abruptly because of the death of the pastor when he was only fourteen. The new pastor did not have the time to help Clement with the language studies.

Today’s St Clement Mary Quote:

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St Clement Mary Hofbauer
St Clement Mary Hofbauer

St Clement Mary Baker

Hofbauer being unable to continue studying for the priesthood, Hofbauer had to learn how to trade. He was then sent to become a novitiate in a bakery in the local capital of Znojmo (in German called Znaim) in 1767.

He went to work in the bakery of the priory in Brück of the Premonstratensian canons regular, in 1770, which was also known as the White Canons. The effects of war and famine were sending many homeless and hungry people to the priory for help at that time.

St Clement worked day and night just to feed the poor people who came to the priory door. He continued to work as a servant at the priory up to 1775 when he spent his time living as a hermit.

Clement lived that life briefly until the Emperor who’s known as Joseph II, who was a proponent of enlightened absolutism, eradicated all hermitages in the Habsburg Empire.

St Clement Mary Hermit

After two pilgrimages to Rome in 1782, Clement found his way to Tivoli, Italy. He then decided to become a hermit at a local shrine of Our Lady of Quintiliolo. Being under the patronage of the local bishop known as Barnabas Chiaramonte (later Pope Pius VII), who was responsible for clothing him in the religious habit of a hermit.

It was at this time that he took the name of Clement Mary. St Clement, most likely after St. Clement of Rome, and Mary in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus. As a hermit, Clement prayed for himself and for all the people in the world who failed to pray. He worked at the shrine and assisted the people who visited the shrines.

St Clement did not find happiness at this place, however, and in less than six months he left Quintiliolo. He then realized the need to pray for people was good work, but this was still not the priesthood that he wanted so badly.

St Clement went back to the priory at Brück to bake bread and to start the study of Latin once again. By the age of 29, because of the sponsorship of two women he met while serving Mass at the cathedral, he entered the University of Vienna. Students for the priesthood had to study at government-controlled universities since Emperor Joseph’s government had closed all seminaries.

Clement was disappointed by the theology courses that were permeated by rationalism, Josephinism, and other outlooks and teachings he found questionable.

Clement finished his studies in philosophy in the year 1784. Although he could not proceed further towards ordination, however, as the Emperor had also prohibited religious communities to accept new candidates.

St Clement a Redemptionist

Throughout another pilgrimage in 1784 made on foot, Clement together with his traveling companion known as Thaddäus Hübl, decided to join a religious community. The two seminarians were allowed into the Redemptorist novitiate at the Community of San Giuliano in Rome.

On 19 March 1785 on the feast of Saint Joseph, Clement and Hübl became Redemptorists, openly professing to live the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. They both were ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of Alatri Ten days later.

The two Germanic Redemptorists presence was requested by their Superior General a few months after their ordination, Father de Paola. They were told to go back to their homeland across the Alps and initiate the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in northern Europe.

St Clement mission to Poland

The political situation that the Emperor was the cause, did not allow Clement to stay in his own country. Emperor Joseph II, who had closed over a thousand monasteries and convents, was not going to allow a new religious institute to establish a foundation within his empire.

After Realizing this, the two Redemptorists moved on to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (modern Poland). It was in February 1787 when they approached Warsaw, a city which had 124,000 people.

Even though there were 160 churches plus 20 monasteries and convents in the city, there was still an opportunity for work. the people were poor and uneducated. Most of their houses were in need of repair. The majority had turned from Catholicism to Freemasonry. Clement and his companions worked to help restore the Catholic faith.

Poland was likewise in the center of great political confusion at the time of Clement’s arrival in 1787. In the hands of Catherine II of Russia, King Stanislaus II was virtually a puppet. The first partition of the country had taken place with Austria, Russia, and Prussia dividing the spoils, fifteen years earlier.

A similar separation was to occur again in 1793 and for a third time in 1795. Napoleon and his substantial army of mastery marching through Europe added to the political tension. During Clement’s 21 years in Warsaw, there was barely a peaceful moment.

On their way to Poland, Peter Kunzmann accompanied the two new Redemptorist priests. Peter Kunzmann was a fellow baker who had escorted Hansl on a mission.

He was then the first Redemptorist lay brother from outside Italy. Together they arrived in Warsaw with no money. The last three silver coins Clement had already given to beggars along the way.

They encountered the apostolic delegate, Archbishop Saluzzo, who put them in charge of St. Benno’s Church to labor with the German-speaking people of Warsaw. The Redemptorists enlarged their apostolate to the people who lived in the area of St. Benno’s, As they learned the new language.

When Clement saw a homeless boy on the street, he brought him to the rectory, cleaned him up, fed him, and also taught him a trade and instructed him in the Christian way of life. When the number of boys grew too immense for the rectory, Clement opened the Child Jesus Refuge for his homeless boys.

In order to keep the boys fed and clothed, he constantly had to beg. He did so unashamedly. Proceeding into a bakery to buy a loaf of bread he came upon a master baker without an assistant.

Clement spent most of the day working at the dough trough and the oven, using all his old baking skills. He got bread for his boys not only for that day but also for many days to come.