Blessed Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in 2000. Born in Germany, he was inspired to be a Redemptorist missionary priest in the U.S. to serve the German immigrants. At St. Philomena’s Parish in Pittsburgh, he was the assistant to St. John Neumann, who was his spiritual director and encouraged him to preach missions. Fr. Seelos lived a simple lifestyle, serving the poor and abandoned. He was called the “Cheerful Ascetic,” the “American Wonderworker,” the “Doctor of Souls,” for his intercession in healing bodies and souls. He was assigned to parishes in Detroit, Baltimore, and New Orleans, where he died from yellow fever contracted from caring for victims of the disease.