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Encyclopedia > Clement Mary Hofbauer

St. Clement Hofbauer (Clemens Maria Hofbauer) (December 26, 1751March 15, 1820) was a hermit and is the patron saint of Vienna. December 26 is the 360th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, 361st in leap years. ... Events Adam Smith is appointed professor of logic at the University of Glasgow March 25 - For the last time, New Years Day is legally on March 25 in England and Wales. ... March 15 is the 74th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (75th in Leap years). ... 1820 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Onuphrius lived as a hermit in the desert of Upper Egypt in the late 4th century A hermit (from the Greek erēmos, signifying desert, uninhabited, hence desert-dweller) is a person who lives to some greater or lesser degree in seclusion and/or isolation from society. ... Inhabitants according to official census figures: 1800 to 2005 Vienna in 1858 Vienna (German: Wien ) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ...


Birth and Young Life

Clement was born on the feast of Saint Stephen, in Tasovice (Tasswitz), Moravia. He was the ninth of twelve children born to Mary and Paul Hofbauer. Baptized the very next day, he was given the name of Hansl, or John, by which he would be known for more than twenty years until he entered a hermitage and took the name of Clement. Flag of Moravia Moravia (Czech and Slovak: Morava; German: ; Hungarian: ; Polish: ) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic. ...

Coming from a poor family, Hansl had little chance to go away to a seminary or join a religious order. He began to study Latin at the parish rectory. Daily the young student and the aging pastor would meet to study the Latin language. It was to the first step on Hansl's long road to the priesthood. The period of study ended abruptly with the death of the pastor when Hansl was just fourteen. The new pastor did not have time to help him study Latin. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...

Unable to continue studying for the priesthood, Hansl had to learn a trade. He was sent to become an apprentice in baker shop in 1767. In 1770 he went to work in the bakery of the Premonstratensian monastery of the White Monks in Kloster Bruck. At that time, the effects of war and famine were sending many homeless and hungry people to the monastery for help. Hofbauer worked day and night to feed the poor people who came to his door. The Norbertines, also known as the Premonstratensians and in England, as the White Canons (from the color of their habit), are a Christian religious order of Augustinian canons founded at Prémontré near Laon in 1120 by Saint Norbert, afterwards archbishop of Magdeburg. ...

In 1771, a trip to Italy brought Hofbauer to Tivoli. He decided to become a hermit at the shrine of Our Lady of Quintiliolo and requested the hermit's habit from the local bishop. It was at this time that Hansl Hofbauer took on the name of Clement Mary: Clement from the bishop of Ancyra in Asia and Mary from the Mother of Jesus. As a hermit, Clement prayed for himself and for all the people in the world who forgot to pray. He worked at the shrine and assisted the pilgrims who came. Clement did not find happiness, however, and in less than six months he left Quintiliolo. He realized the need to pray for people and saw this as good work, but it was still not the priesthood that he wanted so badly. Tivoli, the classical Tibur, is an ancient Italian town in Lazio, some 20 km from Rome, at the falls of the Aniene river, where it issues from the Sabine hills. ... Onuphrius lived as a hermit in the desert of Upper Egypt in the late 4th century A hermit (from the Greek erēmos, signifying desert, uninhabited, hence desert-dweller) is a person who lives to some greater or lesser degree in seclusion and/or isolation from society. ...

He returned to the monastery of the White Monks at Kloster Bruck to bake bread and to begin the study of the Latin language once again. Although he completed his studies in philosophy by the year 1776, he could proceed no further. The Emperor would allow no new novices for the White Monks.

He went home and lived for two years as a hermit at Muehlfraun, forcing himself to endure strict fasts, harsh penances, and long vigils of prayer. At the insistence of his mother he left the hermitage to become once more a baker of bread. This time he got a job at a famous bakery in Vienna where he met the two distinguished ladies who became his greatest benefactors.

At the age of twenty-nine, Clement entered the University of Vienna. Since the government had closed all seminaries, students for the priesthood had to study at government-controlled universities. Clement was frustrated by the religious studies courses that were permeated by rationalism and other unquestionable outlooks and teachings. Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...

During a pilgrimage in 1784, Clement and his traveling companion, Thaddeus Huebl, decided to join a religious community. The two seminarians were accepted into the Redemptorist novitiate at San Giuliano in Italy. On the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1785, Clement Hofbauer and Thaddeus Huebl became Redemptorists, publicly professing to live the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Ten days later they were ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of Alatri. The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Latin: Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris – C.Ss. ... A novitiate (also called a novice) is a member of a religious order who has not yet taken his/her vows. ...

A few months after their ordination the two foreign Redemptorists were summoned by their Superior General, Father de Paola. They were told to return to their homeland across the Alps and establish the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in northern Europe. The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Latin: Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris – C.Ss. ...

Warsaw and St. Benno's

The political situation did not allow Clement to remain in his own country. The Austrian Emperor who had closed over 1,000 monasteries and convents was not about to allow a new religious order to establish a foundation. Realizing this, the two Redemptorists moved on to Poland. It was February of 1787 when they reached Warsaw, a city of 124,000 people. Although there were 160 churches plus 20 monasteries and convents in the city, there was still opportunity for work. The people were poor and uneducated; their houses were in need of repair. Many people had turned from Catholicism to Freemasonry. Clement and his companians worked to help restore Catholic Faith.

Poland was in the midst of great political turmoil at the time of Clement's arrival in 1787. King Stanislaus II was virtually a puppet in the hands of Catherine II of Russia. Earlier, in 1772, the First Partition of the country had taken place -- with Austria, Russia, and Prussia dividing the spoils. A similar partition was to occur again in 1793 and for a third time in 1795. Napoleon and his great army of conquest marching through Europe added to the political tension. During Clement's twenty-one years in Warsaw there was hardly a peaceful moment. Catherine II (Екатерина II Алексеевна: Yekaterína II Alekséyevna, April 21, 1729 - November 6, 1796), born Sophie Augusta Fredericka, known as Catherine the Great, reigned as empress of Russia from...

On their journey to Poland, the two new Redemptorist priests were joined by Peter Kunzmann, a fellow-baker who had accompanied Hansl on a pilgrimage. He became the first Redemptorist Lay brother from outside Italy. Together they arrived in Warsaw with no money ; Clement had given the last three silver coins to beggars along the way. They met with the apostolic delegate, Archbishop Saluzzo, who put them in charge of St. Benno's Church to work with the German-speaking people of Warsaw. As they learned the new language, the Redemptorists expanded their apostolate to the people who lived in the area of St. Benno's. Lay brothers are Catholic religious occupied solely with manual labour and with the secular affairs of a monastery or friary. ... Warsaw (Polish: , , in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto StoÅ‚eczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. ...

When Clement saw a homeless boy on the street, he brought him to the rectory, cleaned him up, fed him, and then taught him a trade and instructed him in the Christian way of life. When the number of boys grew too large for the rectory, Clement opened the Child Jesus Refuge for his homeless boys. To keep the boys fed and clothed, he had to beg constantly. He did so unashamedly. Going into a bakery to buy a loaf of bread he came upon a master baker without an assistant. Clement spent the day working at the dough trough and the oven, using all his old baking skills. He got bread for his boys that day and for many days to come.

On another occasion, legend has it that he went begging to a local pub. When Clement asked for a donation, one of the patrons scornfully spat beer into Clement's face. Wiping off the beer, he responded, "That was for me. Now what do you have for my boys?" The men in the bar were so astounded by the response that they gave Clement more than 100 silver coins.

When the Redemptorists first opened their church they preached to empty benches. The people had many things that took them away from God, and they found it hard to put their trust in these foreign priests. It took several years for the Redemptorists gain the trust of the people; but in time St. Benno's became the thriving center of the Catholic Church in Warsaw.

In 1791, four years after their arrival, the Redemptorists enlarged the children's refuge into an academy. A boarding school had been opened for young girls under the direction of some noble Warsaw women. The number of orphan boys continued to grow steadily. Money to finance all this came from some regular benefactors and many other people who were willing to help in different ways; but Clement still had to beg from door to door seeking help for his many orphans.

In the church, Clement and the community of five Redemptorist priests and three lay Brothers began what they called the Perpetual Mission. Instead of having just a morning Mass in the church on a weekday, they had a full-scale mission every day of the year. You could attend St. Benno's every day and know that you would hear five sermons in both German and Polish. There were three high Masses, the office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, public visits to the Blessed Sacrament, the Way of the Cross, vespers, prayer services, and litanies. And priests were available for confessions all hours of the day and night. Unsolved problems in physics: What causes anything to have mass? Mass is a property of a physical object that quantifies the amount of matter and energy it is equivalent to. ... The Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis or Via Dolorosa) refers to the depiction of the final days (or Passion) of Jesus, and the Roman Catholic and Anglican devotion commemorating the Passion. ... Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies of the canonical hours. ...

By the year 1800 the growth could be seen both in the work at the church and in the Redemptorist community. Reception of the sacraments jumped from 2,000 (in 1787) to over 100,000. The number of men serving at St. Benno's had grown to 21 Redemptorist priests and seven lay brothers. There were also five novices and four Polish seminarians.

All this work was done under less than ideal conditions. The three partitions of Poland brought about great bloodshed. Kosciusco, the great Polish freedom fighter, had his moments of glory but the people could not hold off the foreign attackers indefinitely. The battles reached Warsaw during Holy Week of 1794. The Redemptorists, along with all the other residents of that city, found their lives to be in constant danger. Three bombs crashed through the roof of the church but did not explode. Throughout the battles, Clement and his companions preached peace. This only served to increase the cries of protest against the Redemptorists who were already labeled as traitors. In 1806 a law was passed that forbade local pastors to invite the Redemptorists to preach missions in their parishes. This was followed by an even more restrictive law that stopped the Redemptorists from preaching and hearing confessions in their own church of St. Benno's.

Clement appealed these actions directly to the King of Saxony who ruled Poland at that time. While this man knew the good that the Redemptorists were doing, he was powerless to stop those who wanted the Redemptorists out of Poland. The decree of expulsion was signed on June 9, 1808. Eleven days later, the Church of St. Benno's was closed and the forty Redemptorists serving there were taken off to prison. They lived there for four weeks and then were ordered to return to their own countries. List of Dukes, Electors, and Kings of Saxony, 880-1918 The original Duchy of Saxony was in Northern Germany, roughly corresponding to the modern German state of Lower Saxony and Westphalia. ...

Vienna: A New Start

In September 1808, after being exiled from Poland, Clement reached Vienna. He remained there until his death almost 13 years later. In 1809 when the forces of Napoleon attacked Vienna, Clement worked as a hospital chaplain caring for the many wounded soldiers. The archbishop, seeing Clement's zeal, asked him to care for a little Italian church in the city of Vienna. He remained there for four years until he was appointed chaplain to the Ursuline Sisters in July 1813. Inhabitants according to official census figures: 1800 to 2005 Vienna in 1858 Vienna (German: Wien ) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... The word Ursuline is used to describe the following: Ursulines A Catholic religious order. ...

Attending to the spiritual welfare of the Sisters and the lay people who came to their chapel, Clement gained a reputation as a powerful preacher and gentle confessor.

In the early days of the 1800s, Vienna was a major European cultural center. Clement enjoyed spending time with the students and the intellectuals. Students came -- singly and in groups -- to his quarters to talk, share a meal, or get advice. A good many of them later became Redemptorists. He brought many rich and artistic people into the Church including Frederick and Dorothy von Schlegel (she was the daughter of Mendelssohn, the founder of the Romanticist school); Frederick von Klinkowstroem, the artist; Joseph von Pilat, the private secretary of Metternich; Frederick Zachary Werner, who was later ordained and became a great preacher; and Frederick von Held, who became a Redemptorist and later spread the Congregation as far as Ireland. Klemens Wenzel von Metternich Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar Fürst von Metternich-Winneberg-Beilstein (May 15, 1773 - June 11, 1858) (sometimes rendered in English as Prince Clemens Metternich) was an Austrian politician and statesman and perhaps the most important diplomat of his era. ...

In Vienna Hofbauer again found himself under attack. For a short time he was prohibited from preaching. Then he was threatened with expulsion because he had been communicating with his Redemptorist Superior General in Rome. Before the expulsion could become official, Emperor Franz of Austria would have to sign it. At the time the Emperor was on pilgrimage to Rome, where he visited Pope Pius VII and learned how greatly the work of Hofbauer was appreciated. He also learned that he could reward Hofbauer for his years of dedicated service by allowing him to start a Redemptorist foundation in Austria. Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1,500 km²  (580 sq mi... Pius VII, O.S.B., born Barnaba Nicolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti (August 14, 1740 – August 20, 1823), was Pope from March 14, 1800 to August 20, 1823. ...

So, instead of a writ of expulsion, Hofbauer got an audience with Emperor Franz. A church was selected and refurbished to become the first Redemptorist foundation in Austria. It was to be started without Clement, however. He became ill in early March 1820, and died on March 15 of that year.

His liturgical feast is on March 15. March 15 is the 74th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (75th in Leap years). ...


Clement Hofbauer was beatified on January 29, 1888, by Pope Leo XIII. He was canonized a saint of the Catholic Church on May 20, 1909. In 1914, Pope Pius X gave him the title of Apostle and Patron to Vienna. In Catholicism, beatification (from Greek μακαριος, makarios) is a recognition accorded by the church of a dead persons accession to Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in their name (intercession of saints). ... January 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... Pope Leo XIII (March 2, 1810 – July 20, 1903), born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having succeeded Pope Pius IX (1846–78) on February 20, 1878 and reigning until his death in 1903. ... This article discusses the process of declaring saints. ... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ... May 20 is the 140th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (141st in leap years). ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Pope Saint Pius X ( Latin: ) (June 2, 1835 — August 20, 1914), born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was Pope from 1903 to 1914, succeeding Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903). ...

Simplicity was the chief characteristic of his sanctity. He accepted the will of God as it came to him, and did all the good that he was capable of doing. He led a life of innocence and service devoting himself to glorifying God and drawing others to serve him. In the very simple way that he became holy, Saint Clement is considered a model.


Letters, in German:

  • Brief an P. General Pietro Paolo Blasucci I - 26. Juli 1796 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an das Bischöfliche Ordinariat in Warschau - 25. April 1800 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an P. General Pietro Paolo Blasucci II - 1. October 1801 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an Nuntius Antonio Gabriele Severoli - 6. October 1802 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an König Friedrich Wilhelm III. von Preußen - 28. Jänner 1805 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an P. Joseph Passerat - 3. September 1807 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an Generalvikar Georg Schlechtleutner in Chur - 16. October 1807 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an P. General Pietro Paolo Blasucci III - 9. Jänner 1808 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)
  • Brief an P. General Nicola Mansione - 20. Dezember 1818 - eLibrary Austria Project (elib austria etxt in German)

External links

  • Blessed Clement Mary Hofbauer Article from the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia
  • Works by Clemens Maria Hofbauer from the eLibrary Austria Project (elib Austria full txts)

  Results from FactBites:
Liguori Publications:Saint Clement Hofbauer (3012 words)
Clement was not a miracle worker or a visionary, just a great and holy Redemptorist serving God's people to the best of his ability.
Clement was frustrated by the religious studies courses that were permeated by rationalism and other unquestionable outlooks and teachings.
Clement Hofbauer was beatified on January 29, 1888, by Pope Leo XIII.
Blessed Clement Mary Hofbauer (567 words)
The labours of Clement and his companions in Warsaw from 1786 to 1808 are wellnigh incredible.
Clement with one companion went to Vienna, where for the last twelve years of his life he acted as chaplain and director at an Ursuline convent.
Unable to found a regular house of his congregation, which was however established, as he had predicted, almost immediately after his death, he devoted himself in a special way to the conversion and training of young men.
  More results at FactBites »



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