Pelczar, Józef Sebastian, Bl.

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Bishop, founder of the Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; b. Jan. 17, 1842, Korczyna, Poland; d. March 28, 1924, Przemyśi, Poland. Józef Pelczar founded the Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (1894), which came to the United States in 1959. He was consecrated titular bishop of Meletopolis (Feb. 20, 1899) prior to assuming the see of Przemyśi, Poland (Jan. 13, 1901), which he guided through the horrors of World War I. He is remembered for his selfless heroism following the invasion of Russia (March 1915), as well as for opening medical centers to care for the wounded and victims of epidemics. At Pelczar's beatification in Rzeszów, Poland, June 2, 1991, Pope John Paul II remembered the bishop as "the man who did the will of the Father."

Bibliography: L'Osservatore Romano, 23 (1991).

[k. i. rabenstein]