NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Monday, September 1, 2014

Saint of the Month - September 2014: Blessed Kaspar Stanggassinger

Bl. Kaspar Stanggassinger
Apostle to the Youth ~ Memorial: September 26th

This Blessed came into the world in 1871 in the little town of Berchtesgaden, southern Germany.  His family was very large, with Kaspar being the second oldest of 16 children!  From a tender age he seemed destined for religious life - his favorite game was pretending at being a priest and preaching improvised ‘sermons’ to his younger siblings and the neighborhood kids.  It was a common sight to see little Kaspar leading the other children in ‘processions’ around his family home, and also teaching other children their basic prayers.

The young Kaspar
Late in his teen years, Kaspar announced his intentions to enter the priesthood but his father resisted the idea.  Rather, he was pressured by his parents into assisting with the family’s successful stone quarry business.  With determination, diligent study, and lots of prayer, Kaspar overcame all obstacles and entered the Munich seminary in 1890.  He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1895,  as a member of  the  Redemptorist Congregation.  He joined this particular congregation after having been inspired to do so while on a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of Our Lady of Altotting during his formative years in the seminary.

As a priest, Fr. Kaspar distinguished himself through his humility and affable nature. He was hoping to be a part of missionary group that traveled to Brazil, but instead was assigned as a teacher in a minor seminary run by his congregation in Durrnburg; he was reported never to have displayed harshness or impatience with those who came to him for help, despite long hours of combined teaching and his demanding priestly duties.  Many also remembered the young priest for his special love of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and his continued recommendation of frequent Eucharistic Adoration as a remedy for various problems.  Fr. Kaspar's students and parishioners held him in high esteem for the holy example he set and for the selfless dedication with which he served them.

The shrine of Bl. Kaspar
where his earthly remains lay.
In 1899, Fr. Kaspar was appointed as director of  a newly established Redemptorists seminary in Gars.  There, one evening in September 1899, Kaspar was awakened from sleep by a sudden pain in his abdomen, which turned out to be acute appendicitis.  The condition quickly deteriorated into peritonitis to which he unexpectedly succumbed; he was only 28-years-old.  When news of his death was announced, the locals mourned him greatly and many voiced their opinion that Fr. Kaspar had been a true Saint in their midst.  His reputation for holiness was confirmed by the many healings that were reported at his tomb.

After a successful investigation into his heroic virtues and the validation of a healing miracle worked through his intercession, the Church Beatified Fr. Kaspar Stanggassinger on April 24, 1988.  His hallowed remains are venerated in an ornate chapel within the parish church of Gars, Germany (left photo).

A Reflection
Actions speak louder than words.

A Short Prayer
Lord, as with your faithful servant, Bl. Kaspar, help us to touch the lives of our youth through the active examples of Faith, Love, and Charity.  Amen.

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