Feast of St. John Neumann

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January 5 is always a special day at our house.  It is the feast of my favorite saint.  I have always had a special devotion to St. John.    My mother took two friends and I to see him when we were little girls.  (We lived a little over an hour away in South Jersey.)  She said I ran right up on the altar and put my face against his coffin.   Even later in my life when I was Catholic in name only, I would still tell people about him and his miracles.    One summer the children and I went to see him agian.  This time they had a bunch of candles placed in front of his coffin so my children could not get as physically close to him as I once did, but it still makes quite an impression on them.

After I was married, genealogy became a favorite hobby of mine.  Two years ago I researched some nuns on my husband’s side.  My husband remembered meeting these women in Buffalo where his father grew up and thought they were just family friends.  Well, they were his father’s aunts.  When I contacted the Sisters of St. Francis, a lovely sister that I spoke to had known two of the sisters and she was able to send me information and pictures.  After doing some reseach on this order of sisters, I found out that St. John personally helped found the order.   When I found that out,  I knew without a doubt that he had a hand in it and he is always looking out for me.   There is no dobt that St. John, these sisters, and my deceased father-in-law worked together to get my husband and I together.  My husband was a 45 year old bachelor when I met him, what are the chances of him meeting and marrying me?   People may think that is a long shot, but I am a Catholic of great faith, and there are no coincedences.

Here is a picture of the sisters:

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Pictured here are my husband’s 3 great Aunts, Sr. Charlotte, Sr. Mildred, and Sr. Gertrudis Kaltenback with thier neice, Sr. Joseph Claire Weber (also a sister of St. Francis), and their cousin, Sr. Mary Joseph Friedman, GNSH. 

Here is a link to a wonderful website on St. John Neumann.

 One of the best books that my husband read outloud about St. John was “Thomas Finds a Treasure” by Joan Stromberg.  When he was reading this we had just found out about the order and the book actually takes place at that time in Williamsville, New York. 

 Other books on our shelf are “John Neumann The Children’s Bishop” by Elizabeth Odell Sheehan which is an old Vision book that has not been reprinted.   A second one is “The Little Bishop Episodes in the LIfe of  St. John Neumann, C.SS.R.” by Paschal Turbet, C.SS.R.  It is an old St. Paul Edition book.  A thrid book is “Saint of Philadelphia the Life of Bishop John Neumann” by Philip Douglas.  A fourth book is “St. John Neumann Fourth Bishop of Philadelphia” by Robert H. Wilson.  It seems more of a pictorial book printed in 1977, two years before St. John was cannonized.  One of my favorite pictures is the lower church and his coffin how I remember seeing it as a little girl.  I also have a book on his recent miracles, but I can’t put my finger on it to write the title here, but there are a few people alive today who the good Bishop has appreared to. 

 In our home we have a lovely painting of St. John in our living room.   We also have a white bust of him and a white bishop statue of him that my mother recieved shortly after his cannonization.  He is like part of our family.

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