Blessed Karl Steeb
Tubingen (Württemberg, Germany), December 18, 1773 – Verona, December 15, 1856
Roman Martyrology: In Verona, blessed Carlo Steeb, a priest, who was born in Tubingen, professed the Catholic faith in Verona, and ordained a priest, founded the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy in support of sorrow, the needy and the sick.
His father was a businessman very well esteemed (he administered the assets of the Duke of Wurttemberg), sent him to Paris at sixteen and at eighteen to Verona to learn and practice. He was a mature and reserved boy, all study and work. He was a fervent Protestant, but was fascinated with the lively Veronese world, with its cultural and religious vitality. He attracted a dialogue with some great figures of priests and laity, and this led him in September 1792, to become Catholic.
Four years later he was ordained a priest, with great bitterness on the part of his family, he was disinherited. (But upon the death of his sister Guglielmina paternal goods passed to him). It was a time of war between Napoleon and Austria: battles of Bassano, of Bishop’s Castle, the Rivoli, and then the uprising of anti-1797 (the “Pasque Veronese”). Verona, already in Venice for 18 years will see alternating dominion of theFrench and the Habsburg Empire. Carlo Steeb lived at this time between infirmaries, hospitals, military and the infectious lepers, as a priest, nurse and interpreter in three languages.
He kept teaching, other work was not paid. His “fixed” is the bed (or straw) of the suffering in war and in peace, among them living as a man of the tip of the Evangelical fellowship of priests and laity Spedalieri, founded in 1796 by Pietro Leonardi, with men and women. He had typhoid and testament ago, but his spiritual director, Father GB Bertolini, warned him: “It’s not your time. The Lord expects something great from you.”
The great thing was born in 1840, in two rooms, and the Institute Sisters of Mercy, dedicated to all suffering and need, born with the impetus and support its economic, and the work of Luisa Veronese Poloni, then Mother Vincenza, of whom he is the confessor. (Confessa throughout Verona, this item from the German thin). From the two rooms, the Institute began a journey that continues into the third millennium, with homes in Europe, Latin America and Africa.
And he, that many called the “father of the sick”, died after seeing the completion of the church in Verona, where his body is buried. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1975.
Author: Domenico Agassi
SOURCE: Santi e Beati