Clement Mary Hofbauer

1751-1820. Redemptorist* priest. Born John Dvorvák, youngest of twelve children of a Moravian grazier and butcher, his desire for the priesthood had to be postponed until 1780. He worked as a baker from his father's death in 1757, except for a period of living as a hermit and as a servant in the Premonstratensian* monastery of Buck (1771-75). The generosity of three Viennese ladies saw him through Vienna University, after which he went to Rome and joined the recently founded Redemptorists (C.SS.R.). He was ordained in 1785. Returning to Vienna, where he was unable to establish a house because of Josephinism,* he went to Warsaw (1787-1808) where he did much pastoral work and opened schools; he founded several houses in Poland, working mainly among the German- speaking population. He also introduced the order into Switzerland and S Germany, acting as vicar-general for the regions north of the Alps. Driven from Warsaw by Napoleon, he returned to Vienna, serving first in a Franciscan church, then as chaplain to the Ursulines and as pastor of St. Ursula's church from 1813. His influence ranged from the emperor Francis throughout the populace, especially with leading Romanticists, winning many converts and causing spiritual renewal. To him more than any other the extinction of Josephinism is due. He established the Redemptorists there in 1819, and at his death Pius VII said, “Religion in Austria has lost its chief support.” He was canonized in 1909, named patron saint of Vienna in 1914.

Lives by J. Hofer (tr. J.B. Haas, 1926) and J. Carr, C.SS.R. (1939).