Zygmunt Gorazdowski was born on 1 November 1845 in Sanok, Ukraine. His family lived their Catholic faith most seriously, and Zygmunt grew up in this deeply religious environment that was not exempt from trials and suffering.
As a child, Zygmunt was afflicted with a lung ailment; this, however, did not prevent him from considering the needs of others and offering his help where he could.
After finishing high school in Przemysl he enrolled in the faculty of law in Lviv. At the end of his second year of law studies he decided to enter the Latin Catholic Seminary in Lviv, feeling called to the priesthood.
All done for the service of the poor
He finished his studies there and, considering his poor health, underwent two years of intensive therapy. On 21 July 1871, he was ordained a priest.
For the first six years, Fr Gorazdowski served as parish vicar and administrator at Tartakow, Wojnilow, Bukaczowce, Grod Jagelonski and Zydaczow. He gave of himself totally in carrying out his priestly duties and in works of charity.
During an outbreak of cholera in Wojnilow, Fr Zygmunt heroically did all he could to help the sick and dying, even laying out the bodies of the dead despite the great risk of contagion.
Throughout his priesthood he took great care to protect the spiritual health and growth of his parishioners, for whom he wrote and published a catechism and many other books to help parents, teachers and youth. He also began many apostolic works for the poor and suffering.
Beginning in 1877, Fr Zygmunt started a wonderful spiritual and charitable project in the Parish of St Nicholas in Lviv. He worked for 40 years there, serving in many schools and also founding the "Bonus Pastor" Association for priests.
Founder of the Sisters of St Joseph
Above all else, his charity sparkled, especially for the needy and suffering. He founded a home and soup kitchen for the needy, a health-care centre for the terminally ill and for convalescents, an institute for poor seminarians, a home for single mothers and orphans, and "St Joseph's Polish-German Catholic School".
In order to maintain and continue these works, he founded the Religious "Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph" on 17 February 1884.
Fr Zygmunt Gorazdowski died in Lviv on 1 January 1920. Those who knew him called him the "Father of the poor and priest of the homeless".
He was beatified on 26 June 2001 by Pope John Paul II.
The Sisters of St Joseph continue in the charism entrusted to them by their Founder. They currently work in eight countries with the poor, sick and suffering, and serve in the field of education.
Biogrpahy Provided By: The Vatican
Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece of Edward IV and Richard III. She married Sir Reginald Pole about 1491 and bore five sons, including Reginald Cardinal Pole. Margaret ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Before the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, Christopher was listed as a martyr who died under Decius. Nothing else is known about him. There are several legends about him including the one in which ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes