St. John Neumann By alex amaRo amd gabe sanchez

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John was born on March 28, 1811, in the Czech Republic to Johann Philipp Neumann and Agnes Lebisch from. He attended a school a private school operated by the Piarist Fathers before entering the seminary there in 1831. Two years later he transferred to the Charles University in Prague, where he studied theology. By the time he was 24 he could speak 6 languages. His goal was to be ordained to the priesthood, and he applied for this after completing his studies in 1835. His bishop, however, had decided that there would be no more ordinations at that time, as Bohemia had numerous priests and difficulty finding positions for them all. In 1836 Neumann traveled to the United States in the hope of being ordained.

He served as the pastor of St. Augustine Church in Elkridge, Maryland, from 1849 to 1851. After six years of difficult but fruitful work in Maryland, Neumann became the Provincial Superior for the United States. The priest was naturalized as a United States citizen in Baltimore on February 10, 1848. He also served as parish priest at St. Alphonsus Church in Baltimore. An interesting fact is People laughed at the clumsy way Father Neumann rode a horse; because he was short, his feet did not reach the stirrups.

On February 5, 1852, the Holy See appointed Neumann Bishop of Philadelphia. During Neumann's administration, new parish churches were completed at the rate of nearly one per month. Bishop Neumann became the first bishop in the country to organize a diocesan school system, as the Catholic parents wanted their children taught in the Catholic tradition. Under his administration, the number of parochial schools in his diocese increased from one to 200.

While doing errands on January 5, 1860, Neumann collapsed and died on a Philadelphia street. He was 48 years old. Bishop John Neumann was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XV in 1921. He was beatified by Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council on October 13, 1963, and was canonized by that same pope on June 19, 1977. His feast days are January 5, the date of his death, on the Roman calendar for the Church in the United States of America, and March 5 in the Czech Republic. He is the patron saint of catholic education because he was the very first person to start a catholic school system in the United States.

His first miracle was when a girl in Milan was diagnosed with tubercular peritonitis she grew weaker and weaker and doctors and priests prepared for her death but then a sister had the entire community pray for the intercession of Bishop Neumann. With that and the help of a portrait of the bishop she was cured. The next day the doctor expecting to see the girl near death was cured of the disease and proven a miracle.

His second miracle was also a medical miracle of a Micheal Flanigan in Philadelphia. Sadly after undergoing months of treatment for osteomyelitis (a bone inflation) was found in July of 1963 to have Ewing's Sarcoma, a usually lethal form of bone cancer. Doctors gave Michael six months to live with virtually no chance of recovery. Mr. and Mrs. John Flanigan decided to take Michael to the Bishop Neumann Shrine at St. Peter's Church. After several visits to the Shrine, Michael began to make a dramatic recovery. No signs of cancer were found in his jaw and lungs by October, 1963. By Christmas, 1963, when Michael was supposed to be dead or close to death, all signs of Ewing's Sarcoma had vanished. This shocked all doctors and was proven a miracle.

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