Ms. Sebastian Kneipp tried to treat the entire person, mind, body and soul.

In the history of the Church there have been many doctors and physicians who have been content with not only physical but also spiritual ailments. They saw their medical practice as part of their heavenly calling.

This was the case for Father Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th century German priest. During his studies he fell ill with tuberculosis. a disease that was often a death sentence.

However, he discovered a “water cure” and made his own experiments with it. His health continued to improve, and so did he was completely cured of his tuberculosis. This motivated him to both become a priest and teach others about his medical program.

The Catholic encyclopedia gives a brief overview of his career as a priest and doctor.

As a curator he still practiced hydrotherapy for the benefit of the poorand his success in The healing of her ailments attracted a great deal of attention. People from neighboring parishes flocked to him; Both the rich and the poor were treated, and his fame spread across Germany. His little book “My Water Cure” went through many editions and was translated into many languages ​​as people flocked to him from all over Europe. Many of them have benefited greatly. Father Kneipp’s system consisted of that Regulation of daily life, through simple nutrition and the copious use of cold water internally and externally … His general rules were to go to bed early and get up early, with bare feet for a stroll in the damp grass, simple meals, no stimulants, not too much meat, and an abundance of grains.

Father Kneipp developed a complex philosophy on human health based on 5 inseparable pillars:

  1. water, that is the most important pillar;
  2. plants and their medical use;
  3. “Simple and healthy” Food;;
  4. Regular physical movement without excess
  5. and the Inner balanceabout which he himself says: “I have only achieved positive results when taking the soul into account.

According to the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of GodFr. Kneipp also treated Pope Leo XIII, for whom he was rewarded with the honorary title of Monsignor. ” It is not known how well Leo XIII. Kneipp’s treatment regimen, but the Pope lived to be 93 years old.

Ms. Kneipp explains in his book My Water-Cure: how the welfare of souls was his main desireand how he believed in a holistic kind of medicine and treated mind, body and soul as all important.

As a priest, the salvation of immortal souls is the first object I want to live for, to die for. However, for the past 30 or 40 years the care for mortal bodies consumed some of my time and strength … Mens Sana in Corpore Sano goes the old-fashioned saying. A healthy mind only lives in a healthy body. Here one can consider how big and influential the country is on its inhabitants, the palace or the poor damp house on its inhabitants. Should it be different with regard to the soul and body, which are also so closely connected that they form a whole?

His work is passed on to this day and UNESCO has its medical treatments as part of a “Nationwide inventory of intangible cultural heritage. ”

Kneipp’s life and work remind us to look at our life differently. see the connection between our bodies and souls and how a holy life should include a healthy life.


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