Oct 5 - “Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day St. Francis!
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Francis Xavier Seelos was born in Fussen, Bavaria, Germany in 1819. He came from a large, loving Catholic family. He decided to become a priest and sail to the U.S. to minister to the German immigrants. This was a huge and generous sacrifice because he would be leaving his close-knit family almost certainly to never see them again until they were reunited in heaven one day. As a Redemptorist priest, he served at Saint Philomena church in Pittsburgh, where he made lifelong friends with the pastor, John Nuemann. John became bishop of Philadelphia and later the first man from the U.S. to be named a saint. This holy priest had a great influence on the younger Seelos. Father Seelos became a wonderful preacher, known for his cheerfulness, down to earth sense of humor, and great enthusiasm. He was an itinerant preacher, meaning he traveled around preaching missions. Later he served in Baltimore, Annapolis, Detroit, and finally New Orleans. In his final post, Father Seelos gave his all in caring for victims of a yellow fever epidemic. This caught up with the exhausted father and he fell victim to the disease at only forty-eight. Francis Seelos is declared blessed, the third of four steps on the way to Sainthood.
His feast day is October 5.