John Hardon

Most Influential Person

American theologian

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According to Wikipedia, John Anthony Hardon, SJ was an American Jesuit priest, writer, and theologian. A candidate for sainthood since 2005, he is recognized by the Catholic Church as a Servant of God. Early life John Anthony Hardon was born in 1914 to a devout Catholic family in Midland, Pennsylvania. When he was a year old, his 27-year-old father died in an industrial accident when the scaffolding collapsed under him as he moved to secure a steel beam dangling dangerously over his co-workers. After the accident Hardon was raised by his 26-year-old mother Anna Hardon, who never remarried "out of concern for the influence a possible stepfather might have on her son's vocation." They moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they lived "in the shadows of the iron and steel mills". John Janaro, a biographer of Hardon, described Anna as "a woman of deep faith, a Franciscan tertiary who embraced her poverty and her difficult circumstances with courage and grace." Anna "attended daily Mass and received Holy Communion" and her home "had sacred pictures, a family holy water font, and a good deal of spiritual conversation." The Hardons could not afford a telephone and seldom bought a newspaper. Hardon later recalled that they only spoke Slav at home and contrasted it favorably to English which he held was "the worst language in the world to try to talk Catholicism in."

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