Skip to content

St. Jozef Sebastian Pelczar

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of St. Jozef Sebastian Pelczar

Facts

Birth: 1842
Death: 1924
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Jozef Sebastian Pelczar was born in 1842 in the small Sub-Carpathian town of Korczyna in southeastern Poland. A gifted child of a pious family, he served Mass as a six-year-old. His parents sent him to the district school in Rzeszow. As a young student there he wrote in his diary, "Earthly ideals are fading away. I see the ideal of life in sacrifice, and the ideal of sacrifice in priesthood."

He entered the Major Seminary in Przemysl and was ordained for that diocese in 1864. After a short assignment as a curate in Sambor, he was sent to Rome to earn doctoral degrees in theology and canon law. At the same time Fr. Pelczar independently studied the ascetical writings of the Church Fathers. He spent his vacation one summer in Genazzano, where the miraculous image of the Mother of Good Counsel is enshrined. Many young priests, Don Bosco among them, made pilgrimages to that place to entrust their future ministry to Our Lady. In Genazzano Fr. Pelczar wrote his first book, Zycie duchowne [On the Spiritual Life] , which became a widely distributed classic.

Fr. Pelczar had a brilliant academic career, first as a seminary professor in Przemysl, and later as a faculty member, dean of the Theology Department and eventually Rector at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. (Fr. Karol Wojtyla continued his studies in philosophy at that same university during a sabbatical in 1951).

Fr. Jozef Pelczar also did pastoral work with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and as president of the Society for the Education of the People. He founded the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Krakow in 1894, in order to promote devotion to the Sacred Heart and to help working women, children, and the infirm

In 1899 Jozef Sebastian Pelczar was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of Przemysl, and the following year he became the Ordinary. During his 25 years as a bishop he made regular pastoral visits to the parishes. He was especially concerned about the spiritual and intellectual formation of the clergy, being convinced that only holy priests can carry on a truly fruitful apostolate. Despite unfavorable political conditions he held three diocesan synods. He also worked to implement the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, by establishing nurseries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and schools.

Bishop Pelczar shepherded his flock through the difficult years of the First World War, continuing after Poland regained its independence in 1918. He died a holy death on March 28, 1924. Pope John Paul II beatified him in Rzeszow in 1991, during his fourth pastoral visit to Poland.


St. Jozef Sebastian Pelczar Comments


More Saints






Browse Saints by Category


Popular Saints

Rank

Saint

90.

Image of St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney

Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, known as John in English, was born May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, France and was baptized the same day. He was the fourth of six children born to Matthieu and Marie ... continue reading

91.

Image of St. Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great was born in Tuscany. As deacon, he was dispatched to Gaul as a mediator by Emperor Valentinian III. He reigned as Pope between 440 and 461. He persuaded Emperor ... continue reading

92.

Image of St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco

John Bosco, also known as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco and Don Bosco, was born in Becchi, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His birth came just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars which ravaged the ... continue reading

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. Margaret of Antioch

St. Margaret of Antioch

Nothing certain is known of her, but according to her untrustworthy legend, she was the daughter of a pagan priest at Antioch in Pisidia. Also known as Marina, she was converted to Christianity, ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Helena

St. Helena

Empress mother of Constantine the Great. She was a native of Bithynia, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270. Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co ... continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading


Image of St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Isidore, the Farmer

St. Isidore, the Farmer

St. Isidore was born at Madrid, Spain, in the latter half of the 12th century. For the greater part of his life he was employed as a laborer on a farm outside the city. Many marvelous happenings accompanied his lifelong work in the fields and continued long after his ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Ita

St. Ita

Ita was reputedly of royal lineage. She was born at Decies, Waterford, Ireland, refused to be married, and secured her father's permission to live a virginal life. She moved to Killeedy, Limerick, and founded a community of women dedicated to God. She also founded a ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.