Andrew Bobola was born from a noble family in 1591 in Sandomir, Poland. He became a Jesuit priest, being ordained in 1622. In 1625 he travelled to Vilnius, Lithuania and served as a parish priest, he then preached in St Casimir Church and became Superior Jesuit priest at Bobruisk. He tended the sick in his parish especially when the plague ravaged the area.
In 1636, he gave up his post and spent 20 years travelling around Lithuania preaching. He converted whole villages to the Catholic Faith and was known as the “hunter of souls”. At this time Poland was at war with Russia and the Cossacks, both of whom disagreed with Fr Andrews’ activities and in 1657, after he had said Mass, he was captured and tortured by Bogdan Chmielnicki’s band of Cossacks. His refusal to renounce his Catholic Faith led to the most savage torture. He died on 16 May 1657 and was canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1938.
Prayer: St Andrew Bobola
St Andrew Bobola,
you travelled around Lithuania teaching
the faith and strengthening people’s
resolve in the face of adversity,
teach us to hold onto our Faith
as we face the pressures and strains of modern life,
through Christ Our Lord,
St Andrew Bobola. Pray for us.