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Francis Xavier Weninger

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Francis Xavier Weninger

Francis Xavier Weninger (German: Franz Xaver Weninger; 31 October 1805, Wildhaus (Slovene: Viltuš), Styria, Austria (now Slovenia) - 29 June 1888, Cincinnati, Ohio) was an Austrian Jesuit missionary and author.


Weninger was born in Marburg an der Drau a province in southern Austria, to a prominent family with connections to the Austrian aristocracy. He spent much of his youth in Vienna. He attended the gymnasium in Marburg, but having expressed an interest in a military career, his father sent him to Laybach to learn to be a pharmacist.[1]

With the consent of the druggist training him, Weninger continued his studies. His progress was brought to the attention of Empress Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, who sponsored his further education at the University of Vienna. It was at this time that he decided to become a priest and was ordained in 1827. He was then made prefect of studies at the seminary in Gratz.[1]

Already a priest and doctor of theology, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1832 and in 1841 was sent to Innsbruck, where he taught theology, history, and Hebrew. As the Revolution of 1848 impeded his further usefulness at home, he left Europe and went to the United States.

During his forty years he visited almost every state of the Union, preaching in English, French, or German, as best suited the nationality of his hearers. In the year 1854 alone he delivered nearly a thousand sermons, and in 1864 he preached about forty-five missions.[2] He retired to Cincinnati around 1882, where he died in 1888 at the age of 82.


He published forty works in German, sixteen in English, eight in French, three in Latin. Among his principal works are:





  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Francis Xavier Weninger". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.