A pious youth, his family nicknamed him “the little monk.” After graduating the Jesuit college in Poznan, Poland, Melchior joined the cavalry, and was made an officer within three years. In 1715, against the advice of his brothers in arms, Melchior joined the Conventual Friars Minor in Kraków, Poland, took the name Rafal, and was ordained in 1717.
Assigned to parishes in nine cities, he was eventually sent to Lagiewniki in central Poland, where he spent most of the last 13 years of his life. He distributed food, supplies and clothing to the poor, and played the harp, lute and mandolin to accompany liturgical hymns. Spent 20 months in Warsaw ministering to flood and epidemic victims. Known for simple and candid sermons, generosity, and as a great confessor. All classes were drawn to the self-sacrificing way he lived out his religious profession and priestly ministry.