Feast of Joseph Mohr (December 4)   Leave a comment

Austrian Roman Catholic Priest; died on December 4, 1848

Joseph Mohr was born out of wedlock to an embroiderer and a mercenary soldier on December 11, 1792.  He grew up entered the Roman Catholic priesthood, ordained in 1815.  As a priest Mohr donated generously to charities, founded a school for children in Wagrain (where he served a church from 1836 to 1848), created a scholarship fund for poor children in Wagrain, and established a system for caring for the elderly of Wagrain.  Mohr died of lung disease in 1848.

If Mohr had done only those deeds his legacy would be laudable, if limited only to the Wagrain area.  Yet you and I can appreciate Mohr’s universal legacy, the Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” which he wrote in 1816, while serving an alpine church.  Franz Gruber composed the immortal music.


Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.


Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Joseph Mohr, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.  We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ, through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47


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