St. Clement was a priest and an apostle according to the heart of God. He exercised his priestly ministry with holy enthusiasm and rigorous exactitude, and it was in the ambit of preacher and director of souls that he showed himself to be the true apostle of Vienna. The original way in which he carried out this responsibility made him popular in the great capital and thoroughly broke with the pedantry introduced by Josephinism in Austria.
At that time, after Joseph II, genuinely Catholic sermons were hardly to be heard, because the truths of the Faith were no longer spoken of, but only elegant and agreeable topics such as Christianism, philanthropy, etc. A disciple of our Saint aptly observed that preaching regarding the Catholic Church was such a rarity that youths rejoiced when the orator proffered the words “Holy Catholic Church.”
The preaching of St. Clement produced the effect of a bomb. The Eucharist, veneration to Our Lady and to the Saints, Confession, indulgences, Purgatory, hell, and the devil were themes that were prohibited by Josephinism, but truths that St. Clement expounded on from the pulpit with extreme clarity and firmness.
St. Clement resuscitated Catholic preaching in Vienna; his physical expression sharply contrasted with the elegant and vain posing of fashionable preachers; he was a popular preacher in the true sense of the word.
Taken from Chagas Azeredo, CSsR, Oscar.
São Clemente Maria Hofbauer.
Aparecida do Norte (SP):
Livraria Nossa Senhora Aparecida, 1928
Above, the city of Vienna, with Schönbrunn Palace in the foreground; detail, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer