St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

April 24

1577- 1622

 Born at Sigmaringen, Prussia, Mark Rey was educated at the University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, where he also taught philosophy and studied law, He was tutor, 1604-10, to a group of Swabian aristocrats and traveled all over Europe with them. He then earned his doctorate in law and became a lawyer in Alsace known as the "poor man's lawyer." He gave up law for the religious life, donated his wealth to the poor and to needy seminarians, was ordained, and became a Capuchin monk in 1612, taking the name Fidelis. He served as guardian at various Capuchin houses, became a successful preacher, and with eight other Capuchins converted many Protestants in the Orisons, Switzerland, He was appointed head of the Congregation for the Spreading of the Faith, and his continued success with the Orisons incurred bitter animosity against him. While preaching at Seewis on April 24, he was fired upon, but the assassin missed; however, on the way back to Grüsch, where he had preached earlier in the day, he was murdered by a group of his opponents. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.

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