Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Servant of God Br George Passy, C.SS.R. (1784-1836)

Brother George Passy was born on 5 April, 1784, in Vienna, Austria. By the grace of God he passed his childhood and youth in innocence. Very well versed in the study of literature, George dreamt of leaving this to enter into commerce. Meanwhile he had the grace to meet St. Clement Mary Hofbauer and to take him as spiritual father. Under his direction, George began to edit a very successful monthly magazine entitled "Olive Branches." But fearing that he would not know how to combine his piety with his preoccupation with study, he decided to become a Redemptorist.

It is remarkable that this man, with such a vast erudition, asked to be admitted to the Congregation as a Brother with the desire of making himself – for the rest of his life – the servant of the Congregation in Vienna. He made his profession on 14 August, 1825.

Everything in him denoted composure; grave in his conduct, of an ardent piety, bringing forth an intensive union with God. Charitable towards his neighbour, calm in times of joy, patient in sorrow.

With his knowledge of numerous languages he was appointed secretary to St Clement. One never saw him engaged in any useless occupation and still less affecting any gravity in his conduct; humble and simple – he was the enemy of idle conversations and very attentive to his duties towards God and those things placed in his charge. Such was his respect for the Priesthood that he never heard one of God's ministers without bowing his head. His love and care for his fellow Brothers went far beyond what was ordinary, for while rendering to them with great charity all the services he could, he would never allow himself to be served by them. Thus it is easy to understand how he won the esteem of his confreres.

An illness which he had contracted in his youth continued to undermine him year after year and his health declined rapidly – having reached the age of 50 his body was reduced to such a state that no remedy was able to give any hope of recovery. It was thus that on 31 December, 1836, he breathed forth his soul at Vienna, in the arms of his confreres. †

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