Salesian Holiness

Rudolph Komorek








Declared Venerable: 06-04-1995

Ordained priest in the Diocese of Wroclaw

Rudolph Komorek was born on 11 August 1890 in Bielsko in Polish Silesia, then part of Austria. He was the third of the seven children of John and Agnes Goch, two truly Christian parents.

At 19, he entered the seminary, where he was compared to St. Louis. At 24 he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Wroclaw. During the First World War he was a military chaplain in the hospital and, by his request, also at the front. For three years he is parish priest in Frystak, where he bears witness to poverty, prayer and apostolic zeal. His confessional is always crowded. Don Rodolfo is loved and respected by everyone, especially by children.

At 32 he asks to be a Salesian; he becomes a missionary

At the age of 32 he asked to join the Salesian Congregation, and in 1922 he began the Novitiate. He aspired to be a missionary. For this reason, in October 1924, he was assigned to San Feliciano in Brazil for the pastoral care of Polish immigrants without religious assistance. He distinguished himself as an exceptional evangelizer and confessor.

"The Holy Father"

They called him "the holy father". He was exemplary in living the vow of poverty so loved by Don Bosco. He lived in union with God in the presence of the Lord. They said of him: "Never was a man seen to pray so much". And again: "His genuflection was worth a sermon and his composure in kneeling on the floor persuaded us of his extraordinary spirit of pity and mortification". He went through various parishes and Salesian communities.

Confessor in the student residence

He was sent as a confessor to the Salesian student residence in Lavrinhas, where he distinguished himself for his holiness. He taught 28 hours a week. The health center of San José dos Campos was the last stop on its 25 year mission. He was pleased, in the last eight years of his life, to wear himself out slowly and to give to God, until the end, the breath of his tuberculosis sickness. He assisted the other patients exercising priestly ministry throughout the day. He slept on three wooden boards. He spent the last days in continuous prayer. He wanted his now useless medicines given to the poor who could not get them. He did not want to accept either oxygen or water.

He died at 59, 11 December 1949. He is buried in San Jose dos Campos, where his profound piety - especially love for the Eucharist -, the tireless service of others and his spirit of continual penitence have formed and continue to form generations of the faithful.