Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Heilige Maria im Walde / Holy Maria in the Forest, Dolina, Austria (1849) and Memorials of the Saints – 17 June

Heilige Maria im Walde / Holy Maria in the Forest, Dolina, Grafenstein, Carinthia, Austria (1849) – 17 June:

The Apparitions occurred, as the Immaculate Conception, in a wooded area near Dolina, Grafenstein, Carinthia, Austria on the 17, 18 and 19 June 1849 to three young shepherdesses, prior to the public proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception ion 1854.
Thus began the influx of pilgrims and in the woods, just where she had appeared as the Immaculate Conception, a wooden Chapel was erected.
The Church, begun in 1861 but was never fully completed.
A local artist painted an image called the Madonna del Bosco, inspired by the descriptions of the three shepherdesses. This painting was a picture of grace that inspired faith and devotion of many.

St Adolph of Utrecht
St Agrippinus of Como

St Albert Chmielowski TOSF (1845-1916) The Painter Who Became an Advocate for the Poor and then a Saint! Artist, Founder, Tertiary Franciscan, Apostle of Charity.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-st-albert-chmielowski-t-o-s-f-the-19th-century-polish-saint-who-was-influenced-by-st-francis-of-assisi-later-influenced-pope-st-john-paul-ii/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-st-albert-chmielowski-t-o-s-f-1845-1916/

St Antidius of Besançon
Bl Arnold of Foligno
St Avitus of Perche
St Blasto of Rome
St Botolph of Ikanhoe (Died 680) Abbot
St Briavel of Gloucestershire
St David of Bourges
St Dignamerita of Brescia
St Diogenes of Rome
St Emily de Vialar
St Gundulphus of Bourges

St Hervé (c 521–c 556) Hermit, Abbot, Musician and singer, miracle-worker, blind from birth.
His Holy Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-st-herve-c-521-c-556/

St Himerius of Amelia
St Hypatius of Chalcedon
St Molling of Wexford
St Montanus of Gaeta
St Nectan of Hartland
Bl Paul Burali d’Arezzo
Bl Peter Gambacorta
St Phêrô Ða
Bl Philippe Papon

Blessed Joseph-Marie /Pierre-Joseph Cassant OCSO (1878-1903) Died aged 25 – Priest, Trappist Monk.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-blessed-joseph-marie-cassant-ocso-1878-1903/

St Prior
St Rambold of Ratisbon
Bl Ranieri Scaccero
St Theresa of Portugal

Martyrs of Apollonia – 7 saints: A group of Christians who fled to a cave near Apollonia, Macedonia to escape persecution for his faith, but were caught and executed. The names we know are – Basil, Ermia, Felix, Innocent, Isaurus, Jeremias and Peregrinus. They were beheaded at Apollonia, Macedonia.

Martyrs of Aquileia – 4 saints: Four Christian martyrs memorialised together. No details about them have survived, not even if they died together – Ciria, Maria, Musca and Valerian. c.100 in Aquileia, Italy.

Martyrs of Chalcedon – 3 saints: Three well-educated Christian men who were sent as ambassadors from King Baltan of Persia to the court of emperor Julian the Apostate to negotiate peace between the two states, and an end of Julian’s persecutions of Christians. Instead of negotiating, Julian imprisoned them, ordered them to make a sacrifice to pagan idols and when they refused, had them executed. Their names were Manuel, Sabel and Ismael. They were beheaded in 362 in Chalcedon (part of modern Istanbul, Turkey) and their bodies burned and no relics survive.

Martyrs of Fez – 4 beati: A group of Mercedarians sent to Fez, Morocco to ransom Christians imprisoned and enslaved by Muslims. For being openly Christian they were imprisoned, tortured, mutilated and executed. Martyrs – Egidio, John, Louis and Paul. They were martyred in Fez, Morocco.

Martyrs of Rome – 262 saints: A group of 262 Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. In c303 in Rome, Italy. They were buried on the old Via Salaria in Rome.

Martyrs of Venafro – 3 saints: Three Christian lay people, two of them imperial Roman soldiers, who were converts to Christianity and were martyred together in the persecutions of Maximian and Diocletian – Daria, Marcian and Nicander. They were beheaded c.303 in Venafro, Italy. By 313 a basilica had been built over their graves which were re-discovered in 1930. They are patrons of Venafro, Italy.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of Heilige Maria im Walde/ Holy Maria in the Forest and Memorials of the Saints – 17 June

Heilige Maria im Walde/ Holy Maria in the Forest:

The Apparitions occurred in a wooded area near Dolina, Grafenstein, Carinthia, Austria on the 17, 18 and 19 June 1849 to three young shepherdesses.680px-grafenstein_dolina_autobahnkirche_maria_im_walde_altarbild_22092011_126


St Adolph of Utrecht
St Agrippinus of Como
St Albert Chmielowski TOSF (1845-1916)
His Life:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-st-albert-chmielowski-t-o-s-f-the-19th-century-polish-saint-who-was-influenced-by-st-francis-of-assisi-later-influenced-pope-st-john-paul-ii/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-st-albert-chmielowski-t-o-s-f-1845-1916/

St Antidius of Besançon
Bl Arnold of Foligno
St Avitus of Perche
St Blasto of Rome
St Botolph of Ikanhoe
St Briavel of Gloucestershire
St David of Bourges
St Dignamerita of Brescia
St Diogenes of Rome
St Emily de Vialar
St Gundulphus of Bourges
St Hervé (c 521–c 556)
St Himerius of Amelia
St Hypatius of Chalcedon
St Molling of Wexford
St Montanus of Gaeta
St Nectan of Hartland
Bl Paul Burali d’Arezzo
Bl Peter Gambacorta
St Phêrô Ða
Bl Philippe Papon
Blessed Joseph-Marie /Pierre-Joseph Cassant OCSO (1878-1903)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-blessed-joseph-marie-cassant-ocso-1878-1903/
St Prior
St Rambold of Ratisbon
Bl Ranieri Scaccero
St Theresa of Portugal

Martyrs of Apollonia – 7 saints: A group of Christians who fled to a cave near Apollonia, Macedonia to escape persecution for his faith, but were caught and executed. The names we know are – Basil, Ermia, Felix, Innocent, Isaurus, Jeremias and Peregrinus. They were beheaded at Apollonia, Macedonia.

Martyrs of Aquileia – 4 saints: Four Christian martyrs memorialised together. No details about them have survived, not even if they died together – Ciria, Maria, Musca and Valerian. c.100 in Aquileia, Italy.

Martyrs of Chalcedon – 3 saints: Three well-educated Christian men who were sent as ambassadors from King Baltan of Persia to the court of emperor Julian the Apostate to negotiate peace between the two states, and an end of Julian’s persecutions of Christians. Instead of negotiating, Julian imprisoned them, ordered them to make a sacrifice to pagan idols and when they refused, had them executed. Their names were Manuel, Sabel and Ismael. They were beheaded in 362 in Chalcedon (part of modern Istanbul, Turkey) and their bodies burned and no relics survive.

Martyrs of Fez – 4 beati: A group of Mercedarians sent to Fez, Morocco to ransom Christians imprisoned and enslaved by Muslims. For being openly Christian they were imprisoned, tortured, mutilated and executed. Martyrs – Egidio, John, Louis and Paul. They were martyred in Fez, Morocco.

Martyrs of Rome – 262 saints: A group of 262 Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. In c303 in Rome, Italy. They were buried on the old Via Salaria in Rome.

Martyrs of Venafro – 3 saints: Three Christian lay people, two of them imperial Roman soldiers, who were converts to Christianity and were martyred together in the persecutions of Maximian and Diocletian – Daria, Marcian and Nicander. They were beheaded c.303 in Venafro, Italy. By 313 a basilica had been built over their graves which were re-discovered in 1930. They are patrons of Venafro, Italy.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 17 June – The Memorial of St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

Thought for the Day – 17 June – The Memorial of St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

At the beatification on 22 June 1983, St Pope John Paul II said:
“Brother Albert…reached [the] heights of holiness…by way of love… Adam Chmielowski studied painting and for a number of years engaged in artistic activities before following his vocation, which, after a first attempt in the Society of Jesus, led him to the Third Order Franciscans, from where his Albertine vocation took shape… Brother Albert laid down his life in the service of the very poor and of social outcasts.   [He] gave his life completely to Christ.   And in Christ [he] discovered the fullness of knowledge, of love and of service….”

Brother Albert confessed:  “I look at Jesus in His Eucharist.   Could His love have provided anything more beautiful?   If He is bread, let us too become bread…let us give ourselves.”   Brother Albert did this to the very end, until he died in his “beggars’ refuge” in Krakow in 1916.

On the basis of a new miracle worked by God through the intercession of Brother Albert (beatified 22 June 1983), St Pope John Paul II canonised him only six years later, on 12 November 1989, to the joy of the Polish people and for the consolation of all homeless people, for whom this Polish saint can be a powerful intercessor, just as he was a generous helper to them while on earth.

St Albert Chmielowski, Pray for us!st albert chmielowski - pray for us - 17 june 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote of the Day – 17 June – The Memorial of St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

Quote of the Day – 17 June – The Memorial of St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

“I look at Jesus in His Eucharist.   
Could His love have provided
anything more beautiful?   
If He is bread, let us too become bread…
let us give ourselves.” 

St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)i look at jesus in his eucharist - st albert chmielowski - 17 june 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – The Memorial of St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – The Memorial of St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is,
there also will your heart be.”….Matthew 6:19-21matthew-6-19-21-17 june 2017

REFLECTION – Reflecting on his own priestly vocation, St Pope John Paul II wrote in 1996 that Brother Albert had played a role in its formation …..“because I found in him a real spiritual support and example in leaving behind the world of art, literature and the theatre and in making the radical choice of a vocation to the charity” ………..St John Paul speaking of St Albert Chmielowski (Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination)I found in him a real - st john paul speaking of st albert chmielowski - 17 june 2018

PRAYER – Father of goodness, make me realise and understand that each and all of my brothers represent the face of Jesus and that He is the only way to You for us all!   Help me to extend all of myself to my neighbour in loving imitation of Your Son.   St Albert Chmielowski, pray for us that we too may be a light in the darkness of this world, to all who call out to us in their pain and suffering.   And please pray for us!  Amenst-albert-chmielowski-pray-for-us-17 june 2017

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 June – St Albert Chmielowski T.O.S.F. (1845-1916)

Saint of the Day – 17 June – St Albert Chmielowski T.O.S.F. (1845-1916) – The Painter Who Became an Advocate for the Poor and then a Saint!   Artist, Founder, Tertiary Franciscan, Apostle of Charity.  albert chmielowski - headerheader 2 - eccehomo-600dpi

This Krakow native’s experience of the Church was remarkably similar to that of Pope Francis.   He strove to emulate the example of St Francis of Assisi, after whom Pope Francis took his papal name and was the living embodiment of the Church of the poor Francis has spoken so much about.

Adam Chmielowski was born into an aristocratic family in Igołomia, a village outside of Krakow, in 1845.   Then, Poland formally didn’t exist:   The once-mighty Polish state was partitioned between Austria, Prussia and Russia in 1772, 1773 and 1795.   Yet the Polish people refused to accept this and many rebelled against the oppressors.

One such upheaval was the January Insurrection of 1863-1864, directed against the Russian Empire, in which the Poles fought bravely yet were brutally suppressed.   Not yet 18, Adam took part.   During one battle, a Russian grenade killed Adam’s horse and badly damaged his leg, which was amputated.   Adam, however, didn’t take pity on himself;  he stoically taught himself to function with a wooden limb and offered up the dismemberment to God for the cause of Polish independence.

After the uprising, Adam decided to pursue a career in painting and was accepted at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he studied with many famous Polish painters.   Upon returning to Poland, Adam worked as a painter 1870-1885.   In total, he produced 61 paintings  . He quickly became one of the most feted Polish artists, living briefly in Warsaw and then in artsy, intellectual Krakow.   Adam’s social circle consisted of the best-known Polish artists, actors and writers.albert and jesus painting

Yet Adam Chmielowski wasn’t happy with this glitzy life of celebrity.   At one point, he was even hospitalised for depression.   Adam remained a devout Catholic,and his paintings — including his masterpiece, the unfinished Ecce Homo, which depicts the mocked Christ — often dealt with religious themes.

He knew that he needed to grow closer to God.   Adam briefly thought of becoming a Jesuit, but his enthusiasm fizzled after entering the novitiate.   He kept asking God what He wanted of him.

Nineteenth-century Krakow was a city of social inequality.   In Adam’s day, more than a fifth of its population consisted of the unemployed, who were frequently homeless.   The filthy, lice-infested city homeless shelter had terrible sanitary conditions  . The Church in Krakow, especially the Vincentians and other orders, aided the poor.   However, this was insufficient.

At this time, Adam became increasingly attracted to St Francis of Assisi.  This medieval champion of the poor’s ministry resonated with Krakow’s socioeconomic problems. Eventually, Adam welcomed the homeless into his own apartment.   In 1887, Adam Chmielowski became a Third Order Franciscan and took vows at the hands of Krakow Archbishop Cardinal Albin Dunajewski.   He began to call himself “Brother Albert” and wore a gray habit.

st albert

The following year, Brother Albert realised that to bring Krakow’s poor lasting change, the city’s homeless shelter would need reform.   He negotiated an agreement with the city government, making him the institution’s caretaker.   To finance the improvements, Brother Albert auctioned off his paintings.   In addition to improving the material conditions, he banned alcohol in the shelter.   He asked the poor to work (making exceptions for the elderly and those with disabilities), teaching them practical skills and lectured on the Catechism and the Gospels.St Albert Chmielowski

Eventually, Brother Albert founded two religious orders, the Albertine Brothers and Sisters, devoted to the poor.   They set up homes for the poor, sick and elderly in 20 Polish cities.   Brother Albert worked to help as many poor persons as possible until his death in 1916, amidst World War I.   During that bloody conflict, he sent Albertine Brothers and Sisters to the trenches to aid war invalids.   After his death, thousands of Kracovians visited his tomb, convinced that he died a saint.

Today, the Albertines run homes for the poor and sick all over the world.   Visitors to Krakow can make a pilgrimage to the Albertine-run Ecce Homo Shrine, which features a museum devoted to St Albert and the famous titular painting. (NC Register) – For more details and images here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/saint-of-the-day-17-june-st-albert-chmielowski-t-o-s-f-the-19th-century-polish-saint-who-was-influenced-by-st-francis-of-assisi-later-influenced-pope-st-john-paul-ii/brat_albert-world

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Feast of Maria in the Forest and Memorials of the Saints – 17 June

Maria in the Forest: Also known as:
• Holy Mary in the Forest
• Maria im Walde
The Apparitions occurred in a wooded area near Dolina, Grafenstein, Carinthia, Austria on the 17, 18 and 19 June 1849 to three young shepherdesses.680px-Grafenstein_Dolina_Autobahnkirche_Maria_im_Walde_Altarbild_22092011_126

St Adolph of Utrecht
St Agrippinus of Como
St Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916)

St Antidius of Besançon
Bl Arnold of Foligno
St Avitus of Perche
St Blasto of Rome
St Botolph of Ikanhoe
St Briavel of Gloucestershire
St David of Bourges
St Dignamerita of Brescia
St Diogenes of Rome
St Emily de Vialar
St Gundulphus of Bourges
St Herveus of Bretagne
St Himerius of Amelia
St Hypatius of Chalcedon
St Molling of Wexford
St Montanus of Gaeta
St Nectan of Hartland
Bl Paul Burali d’Arezzo
Bl Peter Gambacorta
St Phêrô Ða
Bl Philippe Papon
Bl Pierre-Joseph Cassant
St Prior
St Rambold of Ratisbon
Bl Ranieri Scaccero
St Theresa of Portugal

Martyrs of Apollonia – 7 saints: A group of Christians who fled to a cave near Apollonia, Macedonia to escape persecution for his faith, but were caught and executed. The names we know are – Basil, Ermia, Felix, Innocent, Isaurus, Jeremias and Peregrinus. They were beheaded at Apollonia, Macedonia.

Martyrs of Aquileia – 4 saints: Four Christian martyrs memorialised together. No details about them have survived, not even if they died together – Ciria, Maria, Musca and Valerian. c.100 in Aquileia, Italy.

Martyrs of Chalcedon – 3 saints: Three well-educated Christian men who were sent as ambassadors from King Baltan of Persia to the court of emperor Julian the Apostate to negotiate peace between the two states, and an end of Julian’s persecutions of Christians. Instead of negotiating, Julian imprisoned them, ordered them to make a sacrifice to pagan idols and when they refused, had them executed. Their names were Manuel, Sabel and Ismael. They were beheaded in 362 in Chalcedon (part of modern Istanbul, Turkey) and their bodies burned and no relics survive.

Martyrs of Fez – 4 beati: A group of Mercedarians sent to Fez, Morocco to ransom Christians imprisoned and enslaved by Muslims. For being openly Christian they were imprisoned, tortured, mutilated and executed. Martyrs – Egidio, John, Louis and Paul. They were martyred in Fez, Morocco.

Martyrs of Rome – 262 saints: A group of 262 Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. In c303 in Rome, Italy. They were buried on the old Via Salaria in Rome.

Martyrs of Venafro – 3 saints: Three Christian lay people, two of them imperial Roman soldiers, who were converts to Christianity and were martyred together in the persecutions of Maximian and Diocletian – Daria, Marcian and Nicander. They were beheaded c.303 in Venafro, Italy. By 313 a basilica had been built over their graves which were re-discovered in 1930. They are patrons of Venafro, Italy.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 June

Thought for the Day – 17 June

From his installation of showers for homeless Romans at the Vatican to his spontaneous meetings with the poor, Pope Francis has beautifully shown that the Church has a “preferential option for the poor,”.    The life and work of St Albert Chmielowski, likewise, reminds us that a particular vocation of the Christian is to love the poor, marginalised, weak and those with disabilities.   In today’s self-centred age, when professional success is seen as the greatest good and money is the driving force of our lives, St. Albert Chmielowski — who gave up the life of a celebrity painter to serve Christ by helping the poor — challenges us to ask if we focus too much on worldly goals and ignore life’s true meaning.   “But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33).

St Albert Chmielowski, pray for us!

st albert chmielowski pray for us . 2.

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 June

One Minute Reflection – 17 June

“Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy
and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys,
nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is,
there also will your heart be.”….Matthew 6:19-21

matthew 6 19-21

REFLECTION – Reflecting on his own priestly vocation, Pope John Paul II wrote in 1996 that Brother Albert had played a role in its formation …..“because I found in him a real spiritual support and example in leaving behind the world of art, literature and the theater and in making the radical choice of a vocation to the charity” ………..St John Paul speaking of St Albert Chmielowski (Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination)

PRAYER – Father of goodness, make me realise and understand that each and all of my brothers represent the face of Jesus and that He is the only way to You for us all!  Help me to extend all of myself to my neighbour in loving imitation of Your Son.   St Albert Chmielowski, pray for us that we too may be a light in the darkness of this world, to all who call out to us in their pain and suffering.   And please pray for us! Amen

st albert chmielowski pray for us

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 June – St Albert Chmielowski T.O.S.F. (The 19th-century Polish saint who was influenced by St. Francis of Assisi later influenced Pope St. John Paul II.)

Saint of the Day – 17 June – St Albert Chmielowski T.O.S.F.  (The 19th-century Polish saint who was influenced by St. Francis of Assisi later influenced Pope St. John Paul II.)   (20 August 1845 at Igoalomia (Aigolonija), Poland as Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski – 25 December 1916 at Krakow, Poland, of natural causes).   Canonised on 12 November 1989 by Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter’s Square, Rome.   Professed religious of the Third Order of St Francis and the founder of both the Servants of the Poor and Sisters Servants of the Poor.  Also known as:  Adam Chmielowski, Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski, Brat Albert, Brother Albert, Brother of Our Lord, Brother of Our God, Our God’s Brother.   Patronages – Painters, Servants of the Poor, Sisters Servants of the Poor, Franciscan tertiaries, Soldiers
Volunteers, Harvests, Travellers, Puławy, Diocese of Sosnowiec.   Attributes – priest’s attire or Franciscan robe.

SAINT ALBERT CHMIELOWSKI 5

Adam Chmielowski was born into an aristocratic family in Igołomia, a village outside of Krakow, in 1845.   Then, Poland formally didn’t exist – the once-mighty Polish state was partitioned between Austria, Prussia and Russia in 1772, 1773 and 1795.   Yet the Polish people refused to accept this and many rebelled against the oppressors.

One such upheaval was the January Insurrection of 1863-1864, directed against the Russian Empire, in which the Poles fought bravely yet were brutally suppressed.   Not yet 18, Adam took part.   During one battle, a Russian grenade killed Adam’s horse and badly damaged his leg, which was amputated.   Adam, however, didn’t take pity on himself; he stoically taught himself to function with a wooden limb and offered up the dismemberment to God for the cause of Polish independence.

After the uprising, Adam decided to pursue a career in painting and was accepted at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he studied with many famous Polish painters.   Upon returning to Poland, Adam worked as a painter 1870-1885.   In total, he produced 61 paintings.   He quickly became one of the most feted Polish artists, living briefly in Warsaw and then in artsy, intellectual Krakow.   Adam’s social circle consisted of the best-known Polish artists, actors and writers.

Yet Adam Chmielowski wasn’t happy with this glitzy life of celebrity.   At one point, he was even hospitalized for depression.   Adam remained a devout Catholic and his paintings — including his masterpiece, the unfinished Ecce Homo, which depicts the mocked Christ — often dealt with religious themes.

rsz_ecce_homo_courtesy_of_the_albertine_nuns_at_st_albert_shrine

He knew that he needed to grow closer to God.   Adam briefly thought of becoming a Jesuit but his enthusiasm fizzled after entering the novitiate.   He kept asking God what he wanted of him.

Nineteenth-century Krakow was a city of social inequality.   In Adam’s day, more than a fifth of its population consisted of the unemployed, who were frequently homeless.   The filthy, lice-infested city homeless shelter had terrible sanitary conditions.   The Church in Krakow, especially the Vincentians and other orders, aided the poor.   However, this was insufficient.   At this time, Adam became increasingly attracted to St. Francis of Assisi.   This medieval champion of the poor’s ministry resonated with Krakow’s socioeconomic problems.   Eventually, Adam welcomed the homeless into his own apartment.   In 1887, Adam Chmielowski became a Third Order Franciscan and took vows at the hands of Krakow Archbishop Cardinal Albin Dunajewski, taking the name Albert.   He began to call himself “Brother Albert” and wore a gray habit.

The following year, Brother Albert realized that to bring Krakow’s poor lasting change, the city’s homeless shelter would need reform.   He negotiated an agreement with the city government, making him the institution’s caretaker.   To finance the improvements, Brother Albert auctioned off his paintings.   In addition to improving the material conditions, he banned alcohol in the shelter.   He asked the poor to work (making exceptions for the elderly and those with disabilities), teaching them practical skills and lectured on the Catechism and the Gospels.

Eventually, Brother Albert founded two religious orders, the Albertine Brothers and Sisters, devoted to the poor.   They set up homes for the poor, sick and elderly in 20 Polish cities.   Brother Albert worked to help as many poor persons as possible until his death in 1916, amidst World War I.   During that bloody conflict, he sent Albertine Brothers and Sisters to the trenches to aid war invalids.   After his death, thousands of Kracovians visited his tomb, convinced that he died a saint.

Today, the Albertines run homes for the poor and sick all over the world.   Visitors to Krakow can make a pilgrimage to the Albertine-run Ecce Homo Shrine, which features a museum devoted to St. Albert and the famous titular painting.

St. Albert Chmielowski greatly inspired St. John Paul II.   In 1938, when Karol Wojtyła started his studies in Polish literature at the Jagiellonian University, he was a young, promising actor, playwright and poet.   Yet his calling to serve God and the Church was stronger than his love for the arts.   In this, he found inspiration in his fellow artist St. Albert Chmielowski.

ALBERT

In 1949, the young Father Karol Wojtyła wrote a play about him titled Our God’s Brother.   A Kracovian urban legend had it that Brother Albert met Vladimir Lenin (who lived in Krakow after being expelled from Russia) and debated him on how to best alleviate poverty.   The play features imagined dialogues between the saint and the communist revolutionary (called “the Stranger”), powerfully showing the difference between the Christian and Marxist approach:   The former argues that poverty can be overcome by seeing God’s image in the individual, while the latter reduces all to class struggle and argues that the rich must be violently overthrown.   After his election as pope, John Paul beatified St. Albert in 1983 and canonised him in 1989.

St Albert Chmielowski, Pray for us!