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Johann Nepomuk von Tschiderer zu Gleifheim

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Bishop of Trent, b. at Bozen, 15 Feb., 1777; d. at Trent, 3 Dec., 1860. He sprang from a family that had emigrated from the Grisons to the Tyrol in 1529 and to which the Emperor Ferdinand III had given a patent of nobility in 1620. Johann Nepomuk was ordained priest, 27 July, 1800, by Emmanuel Count von Thun, Bishop of Trent. After spending two years as an assistant priest, he went for further training to Rome, where he was appointed notary Apostolic. After his return he took up pastoral work again in the German part of the Diocese of Trent, and was later professor of moral and pastoral theology at the episcopal seminary at Trent. In 1810 he became parish priest at Sarnthal, and in 1819 at Meran. Wherever he went he gained a lasting reputation by his zeal and charitableness. In 1826 Prince-Bishop Luschin appointed him cathedral canon and pro-vicar at Trent ; in 1832 Prince-Bishop Galura of Brixen selected him as Bishop of Heliopolis and Vicar-General for Vorarlberg. In 1834 the Emperor Francis I nominated him Prince- Bishop of Trent and on 5 May, 1835, he entered upon his office. During the twenty-five years of his administration he was distinguished for the exercise of virtue and charity, and for intense zeal in the fulfilment of the duties of his episcopal office. He was exceedingly simple and abstinent in his personal habits. On the other hand he loved splendour when it concerned the decoration of his cathedral, the procuring of ecclesiastical vestments, and the ornamentation of the churches. He devoted a considerable part of his revenues to the building of churches, and to the purchase of good books for the parsonages and chaplains' houses. His charity to the poor and sick was carried so far that he was often left without a penny, because he had given away everything he had. Twice the cholera raged in his diocese and on these occasions he set his clergy a shining example of Christian courage. He left his property to the institution for the deaf and dumb at Trent and to the seminary for students that he had founded, and that was named after him the Joanneum. Directly after his death he was honoured as a saint; the process for his beatification is now in progress.

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