Wise and wonderful Archbishop Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979) was born Peter John Sheen on this day in El Paso, Illinois, one of four boys.
"Nature gives man corn but he must grind it; God gives man a will but he must make the right choices," he once observed.
At an early age, he made his "right choice" to dedicate his life to God. When ordained in 1919, he promised to set aside a "Eucharistic Holy Hour" daily, calling the devotional time "an hour of power" to renew himself spiritually.
As America's best known Catholic priest of the 1950s, he hosted the Emmy-winning TV show Life Is Worth Living (1952-1957). The popular series presented his eloquent views on life, a kind of Christian humanism.
"Baloney is flattery laid on so thick it cannot be true," he once said. "And blarney is flattery so thin we love it."
Sheen celebrated Christianity and love. With only a blackboard as a prop and wearing his holy vestments, the charismatic clergyman was a master storyteller who would discuss a topic for his allotted 27 minutes, without notes, having spent up to 30 hours preparing his presentations.
With timeless wisdom, his words touched millions. The popular priest was successfully guaranteed prime time commercial sponsorship and laid the foundation for the televangelism of Billy Graham and others.
In a response to fame, the down-to-earth Sheen said, "The proud man counts his newspaper clippings; the humble man his blessings."
More Fulton SHEEN Quotations
Every action has a built-in blessing.