2011-06-21 10:14:55

St John Neumann Bicentenary

This week sees the bicentenary of the birth of Saint John Neumann, the first U.S. bishop to be canonized. He was born in Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic and Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, the same see where St John was bishop, has been appointed as the papal legate at celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of Neumann’s birth in his home country. Cardinal Rigali spoke to Susy Hodges about the figure of this exemplary Christian and his many accomplishments: "he had a great love for the people, a great love for the immigrants, a great love for the Holy Eurcharist ...he gave of himself to help peole to build the gospel and to live the gospel."

The Cardinal went on to say that St John Neumann was a bishop "of whom we're all very very proud" and whose memory "is very much alive" as shown by "the constant flow of pilgrims to his shrine."

Asked about the saint's achievements, Cardinal Rigali pointed to John Neumann's untiring work in setting up dozens of schools in the archdiocese saying: "he laid the basis for Catholic schooling in the U.S."

Listen to the report by Susy Hodges: RealAudioMP3

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