St. Joseph Sebastian Pelczar
Joseph Sebastian Pelczar was born on January 17, 1842 in Korczyna in the diocese of Przemysl, Poland. Raised in a religious atmosphere, he entered the Seminary and in 1864 was ordained to the holy priesthood. After his studies in Rome, he was a professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. As a priest and a professor he was marked by his zeal and a special devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Heart of God, and the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, which he expressed in his works and prolific writing. Concerned by the need for care for girls in moral danger, and for the sick and poor, he founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Krakow on April 15, 1894, the day formerly observed as the feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph. In 1899 he became Auxiliary Bishop and, in 1900, Ordinary of his diocese of Przemysl, Poland. After twenty-five years of exemplary service as a bishop he died in the odor of sanctity on March 28, 1924. In 1991, Pope St. John Paul II counted him among the glory of the Blessed, and in Rome on May 18, 2003, proclaimed him a Saint of the universal Church.