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Feastday: January 28

Birth: 1852

Death: 1908

Canonized By: Pope John Paul II


Joseph Freinademetz was born near Abtei, Italy in the South Tyrol. When as a seminarian he heard on Good Friday the verse, “The babes cry for food, but there is no one to give it to them” (Lam 4:4), he thought of the many pagan children with no one to give them “the bread of truth,” the Gospel, and longed to become a missionary. Following his ordination, he served in the Tyrolean village of Thurn. He would customarily enter the confessional with a stack of note cards, on which he had jotted down quotations from the saints and Church Fathers, with which he counseled his penitents. Father Freinademetz subsequently entered the Divine Word congregation to become a missionary. Of his departure for the Chinese missions, he would later say: “Kneeling before the tabernacle, we offered ourselves wholly to God…Then the hidden God in the tabernacle called out his parting words: ‘I have chosen you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.’” He served in China for twenty-nine years, sustained by Eucharistic adoration and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He died on January 28, 1908.


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