St Conrad of Parzham
Also known as:
Youngest of nine children born to a farming family in a region recovering from the Napoleonic wars. His mother died when he was 14. Devoted from an early age to solitary prayer and peacemaking, he was a familiar site at all the churches and shrines in his region, often waiting at the door at sunrise for first Mass.
Capuchin tertiary at age 31; Capuchin novice at age 33, taking the name Conrad. Assigned to the shrine of Our Lady of Altotting. For more than 40 years Conrad was a porter, admitting people to the friary, obtaining supplies, dispensing alms, encouraging all to open themselves to God, and generally assisting the thousands who came to the friary on pilgrimages. Worked with local children, teaching them the faith and practices, and supported charities for them. Noted for the gifts of prophesy and of reading people’s hearts.
Three days before his death he realized he could no longer perform his duties, and relinquished the position; he then celebrated Mass, and took to his sick bed for the last time. Local children whom he had taught the rosary recited it outside his window until the end.
22 December 1818 at Parzham, Bavaria, Germany as Johann Birndorfer
21 April 1894 in Altötting, Bavaria, Germany of natural causes
15 August 1928 by Pope Pius XI (decree of heroic justice)
15 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI
20 May 1934 by Pope Pius XI
Capuchin-Franciscan Province of Mid-America
Catholic Student Association
Passau, Germany, diocese of (since 1984)
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
I resolve in the first place to remain continually in the presence of God and to ask myself frequently if I would do this or that if my confessor or superior were watching me and especially if God and my guardian angel were present.
I resolve to ask myself, whenever I have to encounter crosses of suffering, “Conrad, why have you come here?”
I resolve to avoid leaving the friary, as far as possible unless it be out of love for my neighbor, obedience, reasons of health, a pious pilgrimage or some other good cause.
I resolve to foster fraternal charity in myself and in others. Therefore I resolve to take care never to say an unkind word. I resolve to bear up patiently with the defects and weaknesses of others, and as far as possible to hide them with the mantle of charity unless I am in duty bound to manifest them to someone who is in a position to correct them.
I resolve to observe silence conscientiously. I resolve to speak briefly and so avoid many pitfalls and be better able to converse with God.
When at table I resolve to place myself in the presence of God as far as I can, to remain recollected and to pass up my favorite dishes so as to practice a hidden form of mortification. I resolve not to eat between meals unless ordered to do so under obedience.
I resolve to answer the first call of the bell unless legitimately hindered.
I resolve to avoid, as far as possible, conversing with the opposite sex unless obedience imposes duties on me which make it necessary to speak with women. In that case I resolve to be very reserved and maintain custody of the eyes.
I resolve to carry out orders punctually and to the letter. I resolve especially to make every effort to conquer my own will in all things.
I resolve to force myself to pay close attention to minor details and as far as possible avoid every imperfection. I resolve to observe the holy rule faithfully and not to depart from it a hairsbreadth, come what may.
I resolve to cultivate a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and strive to imitate her virtues.
– resulutions of Saint Conrad at the time of his novitiate
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 humiliy. 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 containes all sweetness and relish. O my Jesus, mercifully grant me pardon for the faults and ingratitutde 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. – a spiritual communion by Saint Conrad
(from SQPN Saints http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-conrad-of-parzham/ )