Blessed Edward Poppe was born on December 18, 1890. He was an excellent student, but very mischievous as a child. In 1902, he received his first Communion and made his Confirmation, which made him more serious and dedicated to Christ.
In 1904, Edward’s father began plans to have his son begin a baking apprenticeship, which would allow him to enter the family business. Edward, however, felt a calling to the priesthood. After seeking advice from a priest close to the family, Edward’s father told his wife that “God has not given us our children for ourselves.”
Edward’s father died when he was 16 years old, and as one of 11 children, Edward felt that he should take on the family business, but his mother insisted he enter the seminary. Five of Edward’s sisters went on to become nuns, and another brother became a priest as well.
In 1910, Edward was drafted to the military, serving as a battlefield nurse in World War I. He prayed often to St. Joseph, which led to the miraculous recovery of several prisoners of war.
Six years later, at the age of 25, Edward was finally ordained. He served as an associate pastor, ministering to the poor and the dying, and the children in his parish. He taught catechism and founded Eucharistic associations.
Edward had a weak constitution, and ended up being transferred to rural Belgium for his health. In 1919, he suffered a heart attack, and spent his recovery time praying and producing thousands of writings against the evils of Marxism and secularization. At this time, he also adopted the spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux.
In January 1924, he had another heart attack, and died six months later, on June 10, 1924. Blessed Edward was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999.