Episode 120, How a Priest and Beggar Changed Lives Forever



The Catholic Church is full of inspiring stories of people who lived heroic lives and served God in extraordinary ways. Among them is Venerable Aloysius Schwartz, a priest and beggar who dedicated his life to serving the poor in Korea in the late 1950s and 60s. In this episode, Kevin Wells, a former major-league baseball and best-selling author of "The Priests we Need to Save the Church", explores Father Schwartz's inspiring life and how his legacy continues to impact the world today.


The Inspiring Life of Venerable Aloysius Schwartz: From Poverty to Priesthood

Father Schwartz grew up during the Great Depression and the poverty he saw and experienced first-hand had to have had an effect on him. He felt called to and discerned the priesthood at an early age. He tried the Maryknolls first, and then an obscure Order called the Samists, but faced many challenges along the way. Eventually, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in the diocese of Liege, France, where the bishop recognized his deep spirituality and holiness.


Marian Apparitions and Father Schwartz's Spiritual Journey

While in Europe, Father Schwartz visited a Marian apparition site in Banneux, France, where he had a profound experience. Mary called him to emulate her love for Jesus and to suffer as Christ did for mankind. He placed himself under the mantle of Mary's protection and embraced a life of suffering and love.


Mission in Korea

Father Schwartz worked primarily in the diocese of Busan, South Korea, where he encountered extreme poverty. He devoted his life to serving the poor and not just working among them. He also recognized the importance of raising funds to help the people. He came across a gentleman who helped him realize the necessity of raising funds, and he started the Korean Fund, which was a tremendous success. He built many orphanages, hospitals, and schools, and formed the Mariahwe, "Sisters of Mary," who helped him live his mission of serving the poor.


Struggles and Triumphs

Father Schwartz faced many difficulties during his mission, including struggles with a criminal element in Korea. Lee Soon Young mistreated the people and made money off the poor. He tried to have Father Schwartz killed, but was unsuccessful. Father's last struggle was with ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's Disease." Despite his struggles, Father Schwartz remained faithful to his mission and continued to serve the poor until his death.


Father Schwartz's Legacy Today

Father Schwartz's canonization process has been opened, and he is currently "Venerable." His legacy continues to impact the world today through the work of the World Villages for Children, an organization he founded to continue his mission of serving the poor. The organization operates in several countries, including Mexico, the Philippines, and South Korea, and continues to provide education, healthcare, and basic needs to vulnerable children and families.


Venerable Aloysius Schwartz is an inspiring example of a person who lived a heroic life in service to others. He dedicated his life to serving the poor and embraced a life of suffering and love. His legacy continues to impact the world today through the work of the World Villages for Children. Let us all be inspired by his life and strive to serve others with love and compassion. Father’s canonization process has been opened and he is currently “Venerable.” You can get more information about him and his case for canonization at worldvillages.org  


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