April 27 – Prince-Bishop Reformer

April 20, 2023

Roman Sebastian Zängerle

Prince-Bishop of Seekan, born at Ober-Kirchberg near Ulm, 20 January, 1771; died at Seekau, 27 April, 1848. Having studied the Humanities with the Benedictines at Wiblingen, he became novice at that monastery in 1788, took vows, 5 Feb., 1792, and was ordained priest, 21 Dec., 1793. From 1794-5 he studied Oriental languages at the monastery of Zwiefalten, taught Holy Scripture at Wiblingen, 1796-9, at Mehrerau, 1799-1801, at Wiblingen, 1801-3, at the Benedictine University of Salzburg, 1803- 7, at the University of Cracow, 1807-9, at the University of Prague, 1811-13, and at the University of Vienna, 1813-24. In 1824, fifteen years after the suppression of his monastery, when there was no further hope of its restoration, he obtained dispensation from his religious vows in order to accept a canonry at Vienna. On 24 April, 1824, he became Prince-Bishop of Seekau and administrator of the Diocese of Leoben. These two dioceses, with a population of 800,000, had been without a bishop for twelve years, during which time the Government had free scope to infuse Josephinistic ideas into the clergy and the laity. The monasteries, almost without exception, had relaxed in discipline; the clergy, both secular and regular, were for the most part worldly minded and exceedingly lax as pastors of the faithful. Despite governmental opposition, Zängerle inaugurated a thorough religious renovation in both dioceses, reformed the existing monasteries, introduced the Redemptorists, Jesuits, Carmelites, and Vincentian Sisters, founded the School Sisters of the Third Order (1843) erected a Knabenseminar for both dioceses at Leoben, thoroughly renovated the diocesan seminary religiously and educationally, introduced annual retreats for the clergy, and in many other ways provided for the welfare of both dioceses.

SENTZER, Roman Sebastian Zängerle, Fürstbishof von Sekau und Administrator der Leobener Diocese (Graz, 1901); Hist. Polit. Blätter, CXXIX (Munich, 1902), 589-604, 621-632; St. Benedikts- Stimmen, XIII (Prague, 1899), 266-272, 302-310.

MICHAEL OTT (Catholic Encyclopedia)


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