Benedict Snyder, OFM
1886 – 1936
Tertiary brother Benedict Snyder, OFM, was born in Dayton, Ohio, on March 21, 1886. He was a convert to Roman Catholicism and entered the Secular Franciscans in 1912.
In 1917, Br. Benedict went to China as a Secular Franciscan missionary to work with the friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began his missionary life as a teacher at the Catholic College in Wuchang and later founded the monthly publication Franciscans in China. Br. Benedict opened dispensaries in various parts of Hupeh, Hunan, Shensi and Shansi.
In 1925, he visited the United States, and in 1928 he returned to China with Holy Name Province friars Fr. Patrick Gilgan, OFM, and Br. Paschal Edwards, OFM. In 1933, he completed his microbiological studies at the Catholic University in Peking, and became a medico in the Shasi Mission. Br. Benedict supervised the establishment of many small dispensaries in the mission stations.
One year before his death, he received permission from Fr. Mathias Faust, OFM, to enter the Holy Name novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J. He was preparing for his trip when he died of typhoid fever in Hankow, China, on Sept. 3, 1936. Br. Benedict was 50 years old and a Franciscan lay missionary for almost 20 years.