Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

21st April

 

 

St. Conrad of Parzham

 

Confessor, First Order

 

(1818-1894)

 

Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives.

His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting. That city’s shrine to Mary was very popular; at the nearby Capuchin friary there was a lot of work for the porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years.

 

At first some of the other friars were jealous that such a young friar held this important job. Conrad’s patience and holy life overcame their doubts. As porter he dealt with many people, obtaining many of the friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. He treated them all with the courtesy Francis expected of his followers.

Conrad’s helpfulness was sometimes unnerving. Once Father Vincent, seeking quiet to prepare a sermon, went up the belltower of the church. Conrad tracked him down when someone wanting to go to confession specifically requested Father Vincent.

Conrad also developed a special rapport with the children of the area. He enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

Conrad spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He regularly asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for him and for the many people he included in his prayers. The ever-patient Conrad was canonized in 1934.

 

Comment:

As we can see from his life as well as his words, Conrad of Parzham lived a life that attracted others because of a special quality, something Chesterton alluded to when he wrote, "The moment we have a fixed heart we have a free hand" (Orthodoxy, p. 71). If we want to understand Conrad, we have to know where he fixed his heart. Because he was united to God in prayer, everyone felt at ease in Conrad’s presence.

Quote:

"It was God’s will that I should leave everything that was near and dear to me. I thank him for having called me to religious life where I have found such peace and joy as I could never have found in the world. My plan of life is chiefly this: to love and suffer, always meditating upon, adoring and admiring God’s unspeakable love for his lowliest creatures" (Letter of Saint Conrad).

More at Salvemariaregina

 

A Spiritual Communion

By St. Conrad of Parzham

 I have come to spend a few moments with Thee, O Jesus, and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust before Thy Holy Tabernacle to adore Thee, my Lord and God, in deepest humility. Once more a day has come to its close, dear Jesus, another day which brings me nearer to the grave and my beloved heavenly home. Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for Thee, the true Bread of Life, which contains all sweetness and relish. O my Jesus, mercifully grant me pardon for the faults and ingratitude of this day, and come to me to refresh my poor heart which longs for Thee. As the heart pants for the waters, as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven, even so does my poor heart long for Thee, Thou Fount of Life. I love Thee, O Jesus, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and out of love for Thee I regret sincerely all my sins. May Thy peace and Thy benediction be mine now and always and for all eternity. Amen. (Franciscan Archives)

 

Prayer of the Church

 

O God, who has willed to open to Thy faithful the door of

Thy mercy, we humbly beseech Thee, that through the intercession

of Blessed Conrad, Thy confessor, Thou mayest bestow

on us assistance for both time and eternity.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

Source: Saint of the Day Lives, Lessons and Feast By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. Foley, Leonard Fr, OFM., ed., revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.,2009,Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feast, St. Anthony’s messenger Press, Cincinnati, OH

 

Prayer: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

 

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(Last edited 13/09/2017 08:19 
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