Kaspar Stanggassinger, born in 1871 in Berchtesgaden, in southern Germany was the second of 16 children. His father, a man respected by all, was a farmer and owned a stone quarry.
From his youth he had a growing desire to become a priest. In those early years Kaspar played at being a priest and “preached” short sermons to his brothers and sisters and used to lead them in procession to a chapel among the mountains near his home.
When he was ten years old he went to Freising to continue his schooling.He found the studies rather difficult. His father told him that if he did not pass his exams he would have to leave school. With a strong will, remarkable dedication and fidelity to prayer, he steadily made progress. In the years that followed he began, during vacation, to gather groups of boys around himself to encourage them in the Christian life, to form a community among them and to organize their free time. Every day the group went to Mass, took a walk or went on a pilgrimage. Kaspar’s dedication to them was admirable and extended even to risking his life to save one boy in danger when mountain climbing.
He entered the diocesan seminary of Munich and Freising in 1890 to begin his study of theology. The better to discern the will of God he voluntarily followed a rigorous prayer schedule. Very soon it was clear to him that the Lord was calling him to live his vocation in as a religious. In fact, after a visit to the Redemptorists, he was inspired to follow their vocation as missionary. In spite of his father’s opposition he entered the Redemptorist novitiate at Gars in 1892 and was ordained a priest in Regensburg in 1895. Kaspar Stanggassinger had entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer with the intention of being a missionary. However, he was appointed by his superiors to form future missionaries as vice-director of the minor seminary of Durrnberg, near Hallein. He dedicated himself completely to this responsibility.
As a religious he had made a vow of obedience and lived it in a very clear and consistent manner.
Each week he spent 28 hours teaching in the classroom and yet was always available to the boys. On Sundays he never failed to offer his help at the churches in the neighboring villages, especially by preaching. Even with such a schedule of work he was always patient and understanding with the needs of others, particularly the students who saw in him more a friend than a superior. Although the rules of formation at that time were very strict, Kaspar never acted harshly, and anytime he had the impression that he had wronged someone he immediately apologized humbly.
Deeply devoted to Jesus in the Eucharist, he invited the boys and the faithful to whom he preached to have recourse to the Blessed Sacrament in times of need and anxiety. He encouraged them to go to Christ whether to adore Him or to speak with Him as a friend. His preaching was a constant reminder to the faithful to take the christian life seriously, growing in faith by means of prayer and continual conversion. His style was direct and appealing, without threats of punishment as was common in the preaching of that time.
In 1899 the Redemptorist opened a new seminary in Gars. Father Stanggassinger was transferred there as director. He was 28 years old. He only had time to preach one retreat to the students and to participate in the opening of the school year.
On September 26 his earthly journey ended because of peritonitis.
Biography Provided By: Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at Dufton, at Westmoreland, England, and studied at Oxford. Becoming a Catholic in 1576, he went to Reims and received ordination in 1581. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Jessica is a derivation of Joanna. Joanna was the wife of Chuza, steward of King Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee. She was one of the women who helped provide for Jesus and the Apostles and was one of the three women who discovered the empty tomb of Jesus on the ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes