|Blessed Adolph Kolping|
|Father of All Apprentices|
|Born||8 December 1813Kerpen, Germany,|
|Died||4 December 1865 (aged 51), Cologne, Germany|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||27 October 1991 by Pope John Paul II|
|Patronage||World Youth Day|
Kolping grew up as the son of a shepherd. At the age of 18 he went to Cologne as a shoemaker’s assistant. He was shocked by the living conditions of most people living there, which influenced his decision to become a priest. At age 23 he attended the Dreikönigsgymnasium and afterwards studied theology in Munich, Bonn and Cologne.
In 1847 he became the second president of the Catholic Association of Journeymen (founded the preceding year by Johann Gregor Breuer), which gave young journeymen religious and social support.
In 1849 he returned to Cologne as vicar of the cathedral and established Cologne’s Association of Journeymen. He united the existing journeymen associations as the Rheinischer Gesellenbund ("Federation of Journeymen of the Rhine Region") in 1850. This fusion was the origin of today’s international Kolpingwerk. Until his death he labored to spread the federation of journeymen associations. By the year of his death, 1865, there were more than four hundred journeymen associations worldwide.
In 1854, Kolping founded the weekly newspaper Rheinische Volksblätter ("Rhine Region People’s Paper"), which quickly became one of the most successful press organs of his time.
In 1862, he became the rector of Saint Maria Empfängnis Church.
On December 4, 1865 Kolping died. He is buried in the Minoritenkirche in Cologne.
Veneration and legacy
In Germany today, The International Kolping Society has more than 275,000 members in 2,730 local Kolpingsfamilien ("Kolping families"), making it the largest social federation in the country. The organization, based in Cologne, is represented in 59 countries with more than 470,000 members around the world, divided into about 5,000 Kolpingsfamilien.
Wenn der Mann wahrhaft Religion hat in Wort und Tat, dann hat die Frau auch gründlich Respekt vor ihm, dann ehrt sie ihn auch willig als ihr Oberhaupt.