About Juozas Montvila
Rev. Juozas Montvila was born at Gudine 1, near Marijampole, Lithuania, on 3 January 1885 the son of Kazys Montvila and Magdalena Karalevicius 2.
Montvila studied at the advanced School (Gimnazia) of the City of Marijampole and at the Seminary of Seinai (today within the province of Lithuania in Northeastern Poland). He was ordained a priest on 22 March 1908 and was assigned a post as vicar in Lipskas where he secretly administered to the spiritual needs of the Uniates, a religious body proscribed by the Czarist regime. As a result of this service he was seized by the Russian government and was sentenced. He was to lose his assignment as vicarate and be denied his pastoral vocation. Awaiting a change of this harsh ruling, he worked for the Catholic newspaper in Seinai and wrote sermons for the publication Vadovas (The Leader). Gifted as an artist, he drew illustrations and vignettes for a number of newspapers and books published in the Vilnius (the Capital of Lithuania).
With the passage of time and the realization that he was not likely to be allowed, in the foreseeable future, to return to pastoral work in Lithuania, he prepared to emigrate to the United States. Montvila's first stop would be to his brother Petras, who already lived in America 3.
Following a stay in England, he booked passage aboard the Titanic, boarding at Southampton.
Montvila died in the sinking his body, if recovered, was never identified. However, he was considered a hero in Lithuania and is currently under consideration for canonization by the Roman Catholic church.
His parents and grandparents received a grant of £130 pounds from the Titanic Relief Fund (case P. 511).