January 5 is yet another great day for all the Redemptorist family to commemorate the feast of Saint John Neumann, a Redemptorist bishop (1811-1860). To all those who know the Congregation of Redemptorists from missionary and retreat work, pastoral service and media apostolate, Father Sylwester Cabała CSsR, presents an interesting profile of one of the four Redemptorist saints next to the famous figures of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Saint Clement Hofbauer and Saint. Gerard Majella. He presents a contemporary style of holiness actualized in extremely difficult conditions.
As an inheritor of the spiritual culture of Central Europe in the 19th century, he risked the fate of emigrants and was passionate about his truly American momentum in working for the Kingdom of God in the other hemisphere. The richness of his personality fascinates people of different ages and professions. The colorful film of his short, 49-year life took place over 150 years ago, and yet we find in it a reflection of the attitudes and desires that characterize contemporary people who nobly think about their own holiness realized in everyday life without miracles, and about the ecumenical striving for unity in Christianity. and peaceful cooperation among the nations of all continents.
St John Neumann is a living bridge between Europe and America, a wandering preacher with a backpack on his shoulder, a man who often falls ill, a missionary with a sixth sense of approaching poor emigrants, a Catholic bishop dying in the arms of Protestants. All this makes him so human and likable. Young people can admire his great passion for natural and linguistic sciences, as he spoke eight languages. For monks, he is a model of devotion to God’s will through obedience and humility, as well as courageous implementation of the charism. For priests, it explains the secret of combining theological studies, especially the Holy Scriptures, with zeal in undertaking apostolate in difficult conditions. Finally, for bishops, it brings a wonderful inspiration of hope that even an inconspicuous man like our saint can achieve great things by becoming a docile instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Saint John Neumann is today honoured as a special patron of people suffering from cancer. Many who prayed through his intercession have already experienced spiritual help and even salvation from illness. Here is the text of the prayer to Saint John Neumann, who can be helpful in such situations.
Prayer to Saint John Neumann, Patron saint of those suffering from cancer
Saint John Neumann, your ardent desire to lead all to Christ led you to leave your home and native country; teach me to live worthily in the spirit of Holy Baptism, which makes me a child of the Heavenly Father and a brother (sister) of Jesus Christ.
Obtain for me the grace to devote myself, like you, to the service of the needy, the weak, the suffering and the abandoned. Help me walk persistently along the difficult and sometimes painful paths of life, drawing strength from the Body and Blood of our Redeemer, under the watchful protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Intercede for me with Jesus in the matter that I particularly recommend to you…
Let the light of living faith guide us so that we are always ready to meet our Father in heaven. Amen.