If you wear a Saint John Newmann bracelet do you know the significance? Well, who was the first saint of the United States? Saint John Neumann was the first man to be canonized from the US although he was not native born. His life was dedicated to serving his parishioners and expanding the Church in the US.
Saint John Neumann was a very intelligent young man who knew from an early age he wanted to lead a religious life. He had access to an excellent education and studied theology and other subjects. After graduating from university and the seminary he was scheduled to be ordained in Europe, but the bishop became ill and John was not ordained as there were too many priests in Europe at the time.
Not to be dissuaded, John walked from Prague through France and boarded a ship to America landing in New York completely unannounced. He went to the bishop of New York who immediately ordained him as there were not enough priests to work with all the Catholics in the greater New York area.
John worked with people in the most remote areas. He lived an incredibly sparse life and served his community. He spoke twelve languages which meant he could communicate with his varied parishioners and continue to evangelize the faith.
He eventually became Bishop of Philadelphia and is credited with building 50 churches and a cathedral. He opened 100 Catholic schools, wrote many articles and help spread Catholicism in the United States.
His memorial day is January 5th. He is the patron saint of Catholic education and Philadephia, Pennsylvania.