On December 8, 1854, when Pope Pius IX read the declaration defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, John Neumann held the book from which the pope read—because, at 5'2", he was the shortest bishop present.

Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, CSSR (1811–1860)

Fourth bishop of Philadelphia, 1852–1860

Born in Bohemia, Neumann went to the United States after studying for the priesthood, and was ordained by Bishop Dubois of New York in 1836. He worked in Buffalo before moving to Pittsburgh, where he joined the Redemptorists. As bishop of Philadelphia he presided over the building of fifty churches and nearly 100 schools.


Famous Americans * Catholic Forum


M. Curley, Venerable John Neumann, C.SS.R.,: Fourth bishop of Philadelphia 

J. Galvin, Blessed John Neumann, bishop of Philadelphia 

J. Neumann, He Spared Himself in Nothing: Essays on the Life and Thought of John Nepomucene Neumann