PRIEST (APRIL 6, 1995)
“HIS GENUFLECTIONS WERE WORTH A SERMON…”
Rodolfo Komorek was born on August 11, 1890 in Bielsko in Polish Silesia at that time belonging to Austria. He was the third of seven children of Giovanni and Agnese Goch, two truly Christian parents.
At 19 years of age, he entered the seminary, where he was likened to Saint Louis. At 24 he was ordained priest in the diocese of Breslavia. During the First World War he was a military chaplain at the hospital and by his own request also at the front.
For three years he was parish priest in Frystak, where he gave witness of his poverty, prayer and apostolic zeal. His confessional was always crowded. Fr. Rodolfo was loved and respected by all, especially the children.
When he was 32 he asked if he could enter the Salesian Congregation and in 1922 he began his novitiate. He wanted to be a missionary. For this reason in October of 1924 he was sent to San Feliciano in Brazil to look after Polish immigrants and those in need of religious help. He stood out as an exceptional evangelizer and confessor.
They called him “the holy father.” He was exemplary in living his vow of poverty so much loved by Don Bosco. He lived in union with God in the Lord’s presence. They used to say of him, “Never was a man seen to pray so much.” And again, “His genuflections were worth a sermon and his way of kneeling down on the floor convinced us of his extraordinary spirit of piety and mortification.”
He was in various Salesian communities and parishes. He was sent as confessor to the Salesian house of students for professed members in Lavrinhas, where he stood out for his holiness. He taught 28 hours a week. The Saint José dos Campos rest home was the final stage in his 25 years of mission. He was happy, in the final eight years of his life, to give himself completely to God, up to the last moment, when he breathed his last with his lungs affected by TB.
He helped others who were sick with his priestly ministry each day. He used to sleep on several wooden tables. He spent his last days constantly in prayer. He wanted his own medicines, useless for him by this stage, to be given to poor people who could not get hold of them otherwise. He would accept neither oxygen nor water.