March 23, 2014

Bishop Anastasius Hartmann

The servant of God, Bishop Anastasius Hartmann was a member of the Swiss Capuchin province. He is noted for founding extensive missions in India, where he became Bishop of Bombay and Patna and founder of the Bombay Examiner.

Bishop Hartmann built the old cathedral of Patna, now no longer in use for many years on account of its dilapidated conditions. The Jesuits, who are now in charge of the missions of Bombay and Patna, are helping gather data for the beatification.

Within the past seventeen years a peculiar phenomenon has occurred at various times in the old Patna cathedral. At midnight the place is flooded with light and a man in vestments goes through the ceremonies of the Mass. This was first noticed by boys at the Jesuit college just next to the cathedral. The students and their masters have made it a point to witness the strange event.

On various other occasions, it has been witnessed by great numbers of the faithful. All attest to the same facts and admit that they sense a perfume of a very fragrant incense such as they have never known before.

There have been denials that these things occur, but the Jesuits have authenticated the facts, even with the help of the government. The man in the vision is generally believed to be Bishop Hartmann, tough as yet no one has been spoken to by him.

The Jesuits in the region had been having great difficulty in making adult converts to the Faith, but in recent years the missionaries have been addressing themselves to Bishop Hartmann and, whereas formerly there were perhaps a brace of converts a year, they now report that within the last three years they have received no less than 2,000 adult converts into the Church (1940-42). Unable to cope with the numbers, they must call on their fellow Jesuits to help them in the ministry.

Born: 24 February 1803 in Altwis, Switzerland as Alois Hartmann

Died: 24 April 1866 in Patna-Kurijee, India of cholera

Venerated: 21 December 1998 by Pope John Paul II

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