Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer Day 2019

God of the Journey

I pray, O God, for all who under full sail journey upon unchartered waters.

There are people who just go with the flow. They can put down their plans at any moment and pick up the moment amidst their plans. For them, each moment is but a marker on a bigger journey, the journey of life.

God of the universe, you are on a journey and you are taking us with you. Help us to keep up and give as companions along the way.

I commend to your care people on really big journeys. I pray with those entering a relationship or leaving one, those leaving home or returning, for the sick and the dying, and for immigrants, asylum-seekers and tourists. Amen

Today  (March 15) is the feast of St Clement Hofbauer, the Apostle on the move


Clement Mary Hofbauer was born in Tasswitz in Moravia (Czech Republic) on December 26, 1751. In his early youth, after the death of his father, he worked as an apprentice baker. Then, having become a servant in the Premonstratensian Abbey at Klosterbruck (Znaim), he was able to follow the theological studies in Vienna. During this time, he made yearly pilgrimages to Rome, where he encountered the the Redemptorists.

On October 24, 1784, with his friend, Thaddeus Hübl, he was received by the Redemptorists. Both were professed on March 19, 1785, and ordained priests shortly after Alatri on March 29. After a few months of study in the house of Frosinone, he returned beyond the Alps, where in his role as vicar general of the Congregation he founded the first house of the Redemptorists in Warsaw. Other houses followed in Poland, Prussia, Germany, Switzerland and Romania. in Warsaw, where he lived from 1787 to 1808, with the collaboration of young men of various nationalities, a very fruitful apostolate was developed, promoting good works and strenghtening the piety of the faithful.

With the dissolution of the Redemptorists in Warsaw, after the takeover of Poland by Napoleon, he was forced to leave Warsaw and found his way to Vienna where he ministered until his death. In 1813 he was appointed rector of the church of the Ursulines and also their confessor. Through the charism of spiritual direction, preaching, confession and works of charity, he converted and helped people of every social class. Through his activity, he had an influence on the Congress of Vienna, on the culture of the time, and notably on the romantic movement.

He died at Vienna on March 15, 1820. On April 19, the Emperor admitted the Congregation into the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Thanks to Father Joseph Passerat, one of Clement´s first companions, the Congregation spread from Vienna throughout Northern Europe. Clement was canonized by Saint Pius X on May 20, 1909. He is co-patron Vienna and Warsaw.