Today’s Saint of the day is St. Conrad of Parzham. St. Conrad was born Carl Birndorfer on December 22, 1818 in the town of Parzham in the kingdom of Bavaria, Germany. Carl was the second youngest of 12 children 5 of whom, died in infancy. He spent most of his early life working on his family farm. St. Conrad’s mother died when he was 14 years old, and two years later his father died as well. As a young child his faith and devotion was very noticeable. He had a great love for the blessed Virgin Mary and recited the rosary daily. On feast days, he would make a journey on foot to some remote shrine. After attending a parish mission in 1838, he decided to enter religious life. At the age of 31, St. Conrad was accepted as a lay brother among the Capuchin Franciscan friars. St. Conrad was sent to the Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, and was given the task of assisting the porter. In 1851 Conrad left Altötting to go help a dying priest. Afterwards, he entered the novitiate at Laufen, where he was given the name Conrad in honor of Conrad of Piacenza. He then returned to Altötting as porter. St. Conrad was said have the gift of prophesy and be able to read the hearts of those he met. For his virtues and the miracles, he performed, he was blessed by Pope Pius XI. Four years later, Pope Pius added his name to the list of saints. St. Conrad is the patron saint of the Mid-America Province of Capuchin Friars. St. Conrad is known for his great miracles, his devotion to Mother Mary, his generosity for the poor, and being ready to help strangers. St. Conrad of Parzham died on April 21, 1894 in the friary where he served as a porter for 41 years.
O dearest St. Conrad, you were known to be hardworking, bountiful to the poor, and eager and ready to receive and help strangers. Like you, help us to work hard at and be sincere in all that we do. Help us to be mindful of those that are less fortunate around us and to be generous towards them. Help us to recognize those around us who are in need of assistance and to be eager and ready to help as best we can. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen