Sunday, December 25, 2016

Brother Albert Chmielowski dies on this day at age 71.

Albert Chmielowski, a Polish painter whose concern for the poor lead him to become a Franciscan monk died at age 71.

Chmielowski was born to a wealthy family and studied agriculture in order to step into the role of managing his family's estates.  Drawn to politics he joined in the Polish uprising of 1863 in which he lost a leg.  Following the Polish defeat he relocated to Belgium where he developed an interest in painting.  In 1874 he returned to Kraków, Poland where his interest in politics and the poor ultimately lead him into the Franciscan order in 1887.  By that time his identification with the poor had already lead him to a voluntary life of poverty.  He founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor in 1891.

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