As one of the youngest founders of a major religious congregation, he accomplished so much and influenced so many other young people during his short life, that he continues to be a role model for young people today. Like them, he, too, had to struggle with all the agonies and ecstasies of growing up and making career decisions that at first were not fully understood or approved by his friends, his professors or even his family.
Venerable Francis Libermann had a most remarkable journey of faith. He was born into an orthodox Jewish family in the Alsace region of France in 1802, and given the name Jacob.
Jacob Libermann’s father was a rabbi, and Jacob was preparing to become a rabbi himself when his studies led him to the New Testament and to Christianity.
He was baptized Francis Mary Paul, in 1826, at Christmas.
Soon he was studying for the Catholic priesthood, but violent attacks of epilepsy put his vocation on hold.
It was fifteen years before he was finally ordained, in 1841.