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Copyright © Novena Church, Church of St. Alphonsus, Singapore
(1871 - 1899; Feast Day: September 26)
Reference: (1) Redemptorists of Australia and New Zealand, Bl Kaspar Stanggassinger: <http://www.cssr.org.au/about_us/dsp-default.cfm?loadref=70#.VSIQ1TGUeSo>; (2) The Redemptorists, Blesseds: <http://www.cssr.com/english/saintsblessed/stangassinger.shtml>
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. (2)
In 1899, the Redemptorists opened a new seminary in Gars and Fr Stanggassinger was transferred there as director. In this new appointment he had time only to preach one retreat to the students and to participate in the opening of the school year. On September 26, 1899, Fr Kaspar died of peritonitis..(1)
The Cause of his Beatification began, in 1935, with the transferring of the body into the side-chapel of the Church of Gars. On 24 April 1988 he was proclaimed 'Blessed' by the Holy Father, John Paul II.(2)
"Spirit of Holiness, come into my heart. Give me the true holiness, that I may be vigilant and always know the good and the true, that I may despise and hate the evil and wrong."
The young priest had a special devotion to the mystery of the Eucharist at the heart of the Christian life. He exhorted all, including the boys he guided in the seminary, to also keep the Eucharist as a focal point in their lives.(1)
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.
Kaspar Stanggassinger was born in 1871 at Berchtesgaden in southern Germany, the second of 16 children. An early sign of his future vocation as a Redemptorist was the youthful Kaspar’s ability, during his school holidays, to gather other young people together and encourage them in their Christian life. Each day the group would attend Mass, hike together or go on a pilgrimage. Kaspar seemed a natural with the young even though he was also young. On one occasion when a boy was in danger of falling while mountain climbing, Kaspar put his own life at risk to see the boy safe.
Kaspar, at the age of 19, entered the seminary of Munich and Freising in 1890. But he was still looking for something else and he suspected it was religious life. After a visit to the Redemptorists he was inspired to follow their vocation as a missionary. His father was not too happy about him joining the Redemptorists, but Kaspar entered the novitiate at Gars in 1892 and was ordained a priest in Regensburg in 1895.