Suitbert Godfrey Mollinger was born in the Kingdom of Belgium, Providence of Brabant, Common of Campenhout, He was educated in Amsterdam, studied medicine in Naples, Rome and Genoa: attended seminary in Ghent. During his term at Ghent, he formed the acquaintance of an American bishop in search of missionary volunteers to the Americas.
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In 1854, Father Mollinger arrived in New York and went on to Latrobe (St. Vincent's) and later Ohio. In February, 1857, he was ordained a priest and was assigned to the diocese of Pittsburgh (now the diocese of Erie) and performed missionary work throughout Pennsylvania. In 1865, he came to Pittsburgh, established several mission parishes and became the first pastor of Most Holy Name of Jesus, Troy Hill on July 4, 1868.
Father Mollinger also believed that healings can be performed in his day as they were when Jesus and his apostles walked the earth. He was a man of strong faith and would often tend to 100-150 people a day. On the Feast of Corpus Christi or the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua (June 13) it was not uncommon to have 10,000 - 15,000 people, from all over the world attend his healing services (note: the St. Anthony only seats 250 people).
Father Mollinger is not only responsible for the construction of this beautiful shrine but it houses the single largest collection of relics for public viewing in the world! All through the efforts of one individual knowing his purpose in life...to know, love and serve God!
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