A Modern Lay Saint
Ivan was born on December 16, 1896 in Banja Luka which is in Bosnia. At the time of his birth, his hometown was part of the Austro-Hungary Empire (which would soon be ruled by another saint--Bl. Charles of Hapsburg). His hometown was diverse in its religion and ethnicity, and Ivan was educated in that environment. Ivan completed his high school education about the time that the crown prince Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 which was the catalyst for World War I.
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The War Years
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Earning His Doctorate and Serving the Youth
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Prepared to Defend the Church
The parish priest was grateful for the help of the young men and asked Ivan might be done for the expiation of the attempted desecration of the church. Ivan proposed that the next Sunday be devoted to adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The parish priest agreed, and the next Sunday all day, outside of mass, the Lord was exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, and many came to adore him. Ivan, himself, spent several hours before the Lord.
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Learn More About Bl. Ivan Merz
His feast day is May 10. (Memorial)