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Saint of the Day January 05: St. John Nepomucene Neumann

St. John Nepomucene Neumann: The Life and Legacy of the Missionary Saint in America


Jan Nepomucký Neumann




March 28, 1811, Prachatitz, Bohemia


January 05, 1860, Philadelphia


05 January


October 13, 1963, Rome, Pope Paul VI


June 19, 1977, Rome, Pope Paul VI



S. John Neumann, servant of God and man, your desire to bring all souls to Christ prompted you to leave your family, home, and country. We ask for us the grace to live worthily in the spirit of our Baptism, so that all our everyday thoughts, words, and deeds will lead us to God, Our Father with honor and glory. We ask you for us the graces we need to help and serve the poor, the suffering and the oppressed. Show us to live as you have lived, persevering in every difficulty, to know and do the Holy Will of God. Oh glorious St. John intercede for us, give us the protection of Mary and the grace of Jesus Christ. Our Lord and Redeemer.

Patron Saint of


Roman Martyrology

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America, St. John Nepomucene Neumann, bishop, of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer: with material means, advice and charity he helped those who had migrated because of poverty and took great care of the Christian education of children.

The Saint and Mission

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St. John Nepomucene Neumann, known for his tireless service as bishop of Philadelphia and his deep commitment to pastoral mission, is an example of dedication to the Christian call. His life represents a concrete response to the mission of evangelization and pastoral care, characterized by an unwavering faith and an industrious love for his flock.

Neumann’s mission was deeply rooted in his desire to serve God and neighbor. After leaving his native Bohemia to become a missionary in America, he engaged in a ministry that embraced the challenges of a rapidly growing church characterized by a growing immigrant population and vast cultural and linguistic diversity. His response to these challenges was a living testimony to his missionary commitment: he founded numerous parishes, built schools for the Catholic education of children and promoted the formation of clergy.

Neumann’s service as bishop was marked by a real and tangible closeness to people. He did not simply run his diocese from afar, but traveled incessantly to visit parishes, even the most remote and poor, demonstrating a genuine pastoral spirit. His presence among the people, his willingness to listen and his direct commitment to the needs of the faithful were central aspects of his mission.

In addition, Neumann showed special attention to education and formation in the faith. Convinced of the importance of Catholic education, he worked to ensure that children had access to schools where they could learn not only standard subjects but also the principles and values of the Christian faith. This aspect of his mission reflects his understanding that evangelization also means forming and preparing the faithful to live out their faith in an informed and committed way.

The life and ministry of St. John Nepomucene Neumann is a powerful example of how Christian mission can be lived out through zealous service, pastoral closeness, and a commitment to education and formation in the faith. His legacy continues to inspire believers to respond to the call to mission with an open heart and a practical commitment to the Gospel.

The Saint and Mercy

St. John Nepomucene Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia and the first canonized male U.S. saint, is a figure who deeply embodies mercy through his life of service and dedication to the community. Born in Bohemia in 1811, Neumann felt a call to religious life and missionary ministry, which eventually brought him to the United States where he served with great humility and love.

Mercy in St. John Nepomucene Neumann initially manifested itself in his commitment to the spiritual and material needs of his faithful. As he became a bishop at a time of rapid growth and great challenges for the Church in the United States, he zealously faced his mission to build churches, schools and hospitals, showing a deep sense of care and responsibility for his flock. His special dedication to Catholic education, with the founding of numerous Catholic schools, reflects his understanding of mercy as a commitment to the integral formation of the person, meeting both spiritual and intellectual needs.

Neumann’s life is also marked by his humility and spirit of sacrifice. Despite numerous difficulties, including the scarcity of resources and the vastness of his diocese, Neumann pursued his mission tirelessly, often traveling long distances to visit isolated parishes and serve the neediest communities. His ability to put the needs of others above his own comfort is a powerful example of mercy lived out through self-denial and service.

In addition, Neumann is known for his spirit of prayer and his deep relationship with God, which fueled his ability to love and serve others. His prayer life shows how mercy is rooted in a deep communion with God, from which flows the strength and inspiration to act with love and compassion in the world.

St. John Nepomucene Neumann is a model of how divine mercy can manifest itself through an individual’s life. His story reminds us that living mercy means serving others with love, humility and dedication, and that even today we are called to embody this message of love and service in our daily lives.


John, born in Prachatitz in Bohemia (then part of the Austrian Empire) was the third of six children of German Philip Neumann and Agnes Lcbis, of Czech descent. He received his early education in the public school of his hometown, and at the age of twelve he was sent to Budweis, where he studied the classics. He immediately showed remarkable intellectual abilities, with a particular flair for languages. He entered the diocesan seminary in Budweis in 1831, then completed his theological studies in Prague at Charles Ferdinand University.

He received the tonsure in 1835 but the elderly and ailing Bishop of Budweis, Ruzika, estimated that there were more than enough priests in his diocese and…


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