THOUGHT FOR TODAY BY
ST. ANTHONY ZACCARIA
If through perfect humility you will be able to know objec tively yourself, only then will you be.
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Menologion - July
I entreat you, children and offspring of Paul, to open wide your hearts.
For those who have nurtured, and still nurture you, have hearts larger than the ocean! And be no less worthy of the vocation to which you have been called! If you really mean it, you will be here and now heirs and legitimate children of our holy Father and of the great saints; and Jesus Crucified will extend His arms over you. I am not lying to you! Who of us could do this? See, then, that you please me, and keep in mind that, whether I am present or absent, you owe it to me to make me happy. That’s all.
May Christ Himself write our greetings in your hearts.
(St. A. M. Zaccaria, from Guastalla, November 3, 1538.)
Ambrogio Cassetta was the first of seven children born to Benedict and Aquilina Minerij in September 1596. Few are the documents about his childhood, a little more instead are those describing his portrait before entering our Congregation. He had come in contact with the Barnabites in 1619 in our church of St. Paul alla Colonna in Rome. He had moved to Rome to be able to study, graduating then in Utroque, and later he found a job with the Roman Curia.
The Barnabites describe the young man as a balanced, modest, prudent person, with a beautiful mind inclined to study and especially careful about his spiritual life, nourishing it with the frequent reception of the Sacraments. Once he entered the Congregation, he concluded his novitiate in Zagarolo with the profession of the vows in 1622, and between 1623 and 1627, in Rome and Pavia, he concluded his studies with the priestly ordination. From this moment on his life as a Barnabite is marked by three fundamental phases:
1) 1627-1644. It is the Italian phase with various destinations leading to St. Barnabas as master of novices; to Cremona as philosophy teacher, and to St. Alexander in Milan as parish priest to face a terrible pestilence with the irate but unjust accusations of Cardinal Federico Borromeo against the Community for not exerting themselves enough in the assistance to the victims, although 16 members perished in the effort; and then to Monza as novice master, superior, and preacher. In 1636, due to the unhealthy climate, he was allowed to return home to his Roman province, assigned to the Penitentiary in Naples. In 1639 Fr. Cassetta is again novice master, this time in Zagarolo. The following year he went to Pescia and then to Rome, working for the beatification of St. Alexander Sauli.
2) Prague: 1644-1648. This period, as superior in Prague, represented a decisive turning point for Fr. Cassetta’s apostolic life. He came in contact with the local aristocracy including the Emperor Ferdinand III, who used to attend our church of St. Benedict. He also became an intimate counselor of Archbishop Ernest Adalbert d’Arrach. He was not exempt from the tension marking the relationship between the Catholics and the Protestants, especially in his work as the Archbishop’s right hand in trying to draw Bohemia back to the Catholic Church. He will be so unpopular among the Protestants as a debater and as the author of the Speculum ecclesiasticum (a manual for parish priests to fight the Protestant doctrine) that when in 1648 the Swedish Protestants invaded Bohemia, some lunatics tried to kidnap him. He had to resort to camouflage as a farmer to escape to Vienna, and from there to Italy.
3) 1649-1664. This phase was just adventurous as the previous one. At first he was at the Bologna Penitentiary, then he went through Cremona, Zagarolo, Spoleto, Foligno, and finally St. Charles in Rome, where he displayed his great gifts as a preacher, caring and dedicated parish priest and spiritual director. As the parish priest in 1661 he published “Mirror of Christian Life,” and in 1663 the “Catholic catechism”; as spiritual director instead he published, still in 1663, the “Tranquillity of human life.” More than a scholar, he was a wise teacher of how to lead a Christian life in this world, and how to be at peace with all in preparation for eternal life. He did not offer, as we might expect, a “soft” spirituality, but a serious and severe one leading to live one’s own daily life in a balanced way, with moderation and common sense, without denying or despising anything of who we are, well aware of our qualities and defects, keeping always as points of reference God and Sacred Scripture.
Fr. Pius Cassetta closed his earthly life on July 3, 1664, at the age of 67, after 42 years at the service of the Congregation. His personality is very meaningful and inspires us to follow God’s will wherever obedience calls us, knowing how to use our intelligence and scholarship at the service of God in the Congregation and in the Church, incarnating the Barnabite charism of “Renunciation of the spirit of the world, total dedication to God, and apostolic service to our brothers” in close cooperation with the diocesan Bishop.
Having dedicated his life to the preaching apostolate, Fr. Errera was called the “Apostolic Man.” He was already a lawyer when he asked to enter our Congregation. He professed his vows in Zagarolo when 26, and around 1610 he became a priest. Fr. Errera right away got involved in the preaching apostolate, participating also with Fr. Volpelli in the 1618-1619 Lenten preaching program in Ostia as asked by Paul V.
After a short stay in Milan as a teacher he was assigned to Montù and in 1623 to Pavia to preach to the men of the Oratorio. In 1625 he was in Acqui, and then in Novara, always as a preacher. From 1628 he was in San Severino, Arpino, Ostia again, Naples, and Novara. In other words he was constantly on the move to answer the many demands coming to him as a preacher.
For many years he was in St. Charles ai Catinari in Rome to explain the Scriptures on Sunday. He must have spent some time also in Perugia. For the last two years of his life he retired in Zagarolo where he had started his religious life.
Fr. Fusconi wrote about him: “The night of July 4, having received the Sacraments, Fr. Agapito Errera, having suffered with unbelievable patience for 6 months a most painful illness, has passed to a better life. Besides all his merits, Father has served tirelessly and for a long time the Congregation through preaching and other ministries. Then he has become worthy of praise for his virtues and exemplary life, especially during this last period, showing great resignation to God’s will, having caused people to shed tears of devotion. So he died on July 4, 1665, at the venerable age of 85.”
Fr. Gorani professed his vows in Monza on January 23, 1622, at the age of 21. He studied philosophy at St. Alexander, where he had the chance to witness the last year of the Venerable Fr. Sessa.
For theology he went to Pavia, and was ordained a priest in 1631 by Bishop Landreani. Because of his great maturity, although only 27, he was assigned as Rector of the St. Benedict college in Prague. Very grateful and appreciative toward him were the Emperor Ferdinand II, and the Empress Eleanor, who entrusted to him quite a few delicate tasks. Through Fr. Gorani’s efforts, the Congregation expanded in Germany, including the novitiate in Mistelbach.
In 1656 he was an assistant to Fr. General. Six years later he was Superior of St. Barnabas, and for three years a Visitor General. From 1662 to 1668 he was Superior Provincial of Lombardy. During this time, as requested by the General Chapter, he prepared and published a set of guidelines for a new method of study, still admired today.
The Duchess Maria of Savoy tried more than once to convince him to accept the post as Bishop of Mantua, but he was adamant in his refusal, just as he refused to be Superior General.
He died in St. Barnabas on July 4, 1671, at the age of 66.
Fr. Claudio De-Seroz has the honor to be the first Barnabite from France. Peter De-Seroz was born in Salin, Burgundy. As a young man he went to study law at the University of Pavia, where he came in contact with the Barnabite community of St. Mary’s in Canepanova. He asked and he was accepted as a member against the will of his parents, who formally accused the Fathers in Rome of twisting the will of the young man. The case was put in the hands of the Bishop of Pavia, who, after a long investigation, could affirm that the vocation of the young Peter was genuine. This document is kept in our Archives in Milan.
In Monza he received the habit from the hands of Fr. Bascapè on June 29, 1586, taking the name Claudio. Fr. Torelli wrote: “As soon as he became a novice, right away he excelled over the others for his virtues and fervor. Having experienced a splendid past, he wanted his future to be obscure and humble, therefore there was no menial task which he would not accept with joy, looking, for love of humility, for the most menial tasks. Fr. Porro put him in charge of the cleaning of the church; he dedicated himself to it with great diligence and care to render the floor almost like a mirror.”
He professed his vows on July 2, 1587, and returned to Pavia for Theology. After ordination, in 1599 he was assigned to the newly opened novitiate in Zagarolo. In 1601 he was sent with Fr. Mancinelli to open the new foundation in St. Severino. Fr. Claudio dedicated himself to the administration of the Sacraments, to preaching, and other pious exercises, drawing the admiration of the people, so happy to have the Barnabites. When in 1602, Fr. Casati was elected as the first Superior of the new community, Fr. Claudio went back to Zagarolo at first, and then to St. Basil in Rome as Vicar. After two years he was in St. Barnabas for two years too, and then in Pavia and Cremona in 1608.
In 1620, after the General Chapter, he was assigned to Savoy. St. Francis de Sales had written to the Chapter’s Fathers: “for the good and honor of the Congregation, it would be most appropriate that with the Fathers returning to the Savoy, there would be also one of the elderly Fathers to infuse a new veneration to those new houses.” The Father selected for the task was Fr. Seroz. Unfortunately we do not have many documents left from Annecy. From Fr. Torelli we know only that he led a very holy and edifying life.
He died in Annecy on July 5, 1629, victim of the pestilence.
Fr. Gregorio Rossignoli was the nephew of the famous Jesuit Fr. Gregorio Carlo Rossignoli, and brother of the Barnabite Fr. Gregorio Rossignoli I. He professed his vows on November 4, 1657, having as Master Fr. Morigia, the future Cardinal of Florence. Because of his skill and ability he was called to lead the college in Alexandria at first, and then, in 1674, the Arcimboldi school in Milan. It was him to come with a new building, better organized and practical for the school, with a new elegant main entrance. For more than 30 years he had the chair of Moral Theology and Law, attracting numerous students due to his fame as a teacher and scholar. His ability as a scholar in law is attested by the 12 volumes he published.
In the midst of all his activity he took special care for the formation of the professed clerics, and spend long hours in the confessional. Full of love for the youth he published 5 booklets of spiritual and devotional material for their spiritual benefit.
In 1701, he was elected Provincial Superior of Lombardy. With great solicitude he visited all the houses, leaving everywhere signs of his wisdom and integrity. He opened a new house in Bergamo, although later it had to be closed because of the public administrators who did not keep the contract. At the end of his term, he dedicated himself to a life of prayer, study, and service for the people, who were constantly knocking at his door for advice and inspiration, including Cardinal Odescalchi, Archbishop of Milan, and even the Emperor of Germany. In Monza he worked also for the beatification of the Venerable Fr. Canale.
He died in Monza on July 10, 1715, at the age of 77.
Fr. Mantegazza professed his vows in Monza on October 21, 1767. His first assignment was as Vice-Rector at the San Luigi College in Bologna. In 1776 he was teaching Metaphysics in Lodi, where from 1791 to 1794 he was also Superior of the community of St. John alle Vigne. Except for a short interval, he was Superior Provincial from 1800 to the Napoleonic suppression. Fr. Valdani described him as “a man enriched with a most fine sharpness and rare prudence.” Indeed these were the qualities he used to govern during the stormy historical periods of the time. He was able to obtain from the local authorities many privileges denied to other Religious orders, especially the giving of the habit and the profession for many Religious.
He was very intimate with the Barnabite Cardinal Fontana, and dedicated a lot of his efforts for the cause of the Holy Founder. He was the spiritual director of the Marquees Teresa Arconati Trotti Bentivoglio. He introduced in Milan the Canossian Sisters. Many are his letters in the Milan Archives attesting to his correspondence with many Bishops and Cardinals of Italy.
During the suppression he did not loose heart. He tried to keep together the Religious in their old residences, like in St. Alexander and the Longoni college in Milan, and at the Carrobiolo in Monza. They had to wear secular cassocks, but at least they could live together. He was able to hide in Monza, with a trusted family, the Archives of the Province, to be later organized and moved to Milan by Fr. Mauro. He had to leave the house of St. Barnabas, which had become a refuge for old and unable Religious of various Orders. He went to the Longoni College as Rector.
He died in that position on July 11, 1824, at the age of 74.
After his ordination, he served in various communities: Massa, Vercelli, Bologna, and Naples. In 1848 he was made Superior of St. Dalmazzo in Turin, while teaching Theology to our students. Back in Rome, he continued his teaching assignment while serving as Chancellor to the Superior General, Fr. Caccia.
In 1850 he was Superior of the new novitiate in Resina, and General Visitor for the Neapolitan Province.
In 1854 Resina was closed, so he moved to the new novitiate in San Felice a Cancello. The following year the General Chapter elected Fr. Stellati Superior Provincial of the Neapolitan Province, a position he held for six years. In 1865 he was elected Assistant General, a position he would hold for 24 years until his death. From 1867 to 1880 he was also parish priest of St. Charles ai Catinari. He was also used widely by the Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII: Consultor for the Congregation of the Council and for the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith.
Fr. Stellati was resplendent with many virtues. His fervent piety, anchored on a strong faith, was manifested in a special way with his devotion to the Passion of the Lord, to the Holy Name of Jesus, and to Our Lady of Sorrow. His printed meditations on these subjects were widely demanded. Until he was able, he was faithful to the confessional both in church and in the monasteries. Lover of sacred studies and arts, when he could, he dedicated his time to them, especially the Fathers of the Church, and many were those asking for his notes to be published, but he refused.
During his last years he became very weak, and unable to walk, so that he could celebrate the Mass only in private. He accepted the sacrifice with great resignation and humility.
He died On July 11, 1889, at the age of 75.
FATHER JANUARIUS BOCCALUPI
Founder of the Neapolitan Province
Fr. Constantine Pallamolla and Vito Boccalupi, to be able to enter our Congregation had to run away from their homes in Eboli (Salerno) and found refuge in St. Barnabas in Milan. There they were joined by Vito’s brother, Gennaro. Vito professed the vows in 1594, but died in 1611. Gennaro instead professed the vows in 1595 in Monza, finished his studies in Pavia, and was ordained a priest in Cremona.
In 1607 he returned to Naples together with Frs. Carli, Alari, and Pallamolla, sent by Fr. Dossena to lay the foundation of a house. At first they settled temporarily in the church of St. Catherine, hoping to move to St. Mary’s in Cosmedin, called of Portanova. The task was not easy because St. Mary’s belonged to the Knights of the Throne. Fr. Boccapuli tried every possible way but without success until the Knight John Simoni, the leader of the opposition, well aware of the petition by the Barnabites, one evening turned to the Blessed Mother for guidance. In the morning he found himself totally in favor of the Fathers, and indeed, having called a meeting of the Knights, all expressed their favorable consent.
Having received the approval from the Archbishop, present Fr. Dossena, on the vigil of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fr. Boccalupi celebrated a thanksgiving Mass. Having remodeled some houses close to the church, the Fathers started their apostolic activities. Among other things, Fr. Boccalupi organized the Association of lawyers and Curialists, with the obligation to attend for free the cases of poor widows and children.
In 1614, he asked Archbishop Caraffa to allow the Community to move to more spacious quarters for a more efficient apostolate. In 1616, together with Fr. Fausto Buffs, he moved to the church of St. Charles alle Mortelle. In 1623, he went to Perugia to preach for Lent, and remained there for three years as Superior. Bishop Napoleone selected him as his companion for the visit to Monasteries and parishes, and even as his confessor. Back in Naples he became intimate with the new Archbishop, Cardinal Francis Buoncompagni, who made him examiner of the clergy, visitor of the diocese, and missions preacher; he even entrusted to the Barnabites the Penitentiary, and in 1633 the house were the penitentiaries were residing became an independed community.
In 1641, when the Cardinal died, Fr. Boccalupi moved to Rome, where he died on July 12, 1645, at the age of 70.
Gallicano was the son of the famous Magistrate Camillus Gallinio of Pavia, and he himself a lawyer. When 24, he abandoned the Chair of law of the Pavia University and joined our Congregation, professing the vows on April 25, 1591, and taking the name Adrian. He celebrated the First Mass on December 1, 1593 in Rome.
Gifted with an acute intelligence, he became an excellent theologian. At the same time he was most humble and very diligent in the liturgical celebrations. He was most devout in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and in meditating on the Passion of the Lord easily he would break into tears.
In 1595 he was Vicar and the following year Superior of the St. Blaise Community in Rome. But he became very sick, so Father General sent him to Pavia to take care of his health in his home town. Once healed, he was assigned as Rector of the Penitentiary in Bologna, where he would stay for 12 years.
In 1614, Bishop Odelscalchi of Vigevano, asked for him in his diocese. Father Adriano accepted but three months later the Lord called him to himself on July 13, 1614, at the age of 48.
Fr. Saccucci professed the vows in Zagarolo in 1670. After ordination he taught philosophy and theology in many of the houses in the Roman Province, was also Superior in Perugia, Provincial Superior in 1676 and 1689, Procurator General for six years, and in 1698 he became Superior General.
During this time Fr. James Morigia was the first Barnabite to become a Cardinal. In 1699 Fr. Saccucci opened the house of St. Joseph in Guéret (France), and the following year he allowed the house in Tortona to open a public school.
In 1701 France became a Province with 14 houses. The same year he founded Our Lady of Mercy in Bergamo. During his last year as Superior General he paid a visit to the German houses. While in Vienna he received the message from the Pope to be his messenger to the Emperor for a delicate issue. Then he continued his visit, but he became ill, and was taken back to Vienna, where he passed away at the age of 51, on July 13, 1702.
If he had not died, the Pope had already made arrangement for him to be the Bishop of San Severino.
Fr. Palma was born in Naples on January 23, 1819, and entered the Novitiate of St. Joseph a Pontecorvo in October, 1838. He professed the solemn vows in Arpino on February 2, 1840, to move to Perugia for the theological studies, where he was ordained a priest in September, 1842.
He dedicated himself to preaching and to teaching in Perugia, Bologna, and Parma, where he attended also the sick in the public hospitals and the inmates in the jails. He even created an institution of pious Ladies for the catechetical instruction of women inmates.
He was also Superior in Pontecorvo and San Felice a Cancello. In 1877, when he got sick, he was brought to the Bianchi College in Naples to take care of his health, edifying all with his patience and tolerance.
He led a very exemplary life, was of a joyful nature, very pleasant, with a great heart and deep charity. He had a great devotion to Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence and he worked tirelessly to promote it.
He died on July 13, 1882, at the age of 64.
Fr. Quadrupani professed his vows in Monza on January 3, 1758. After his studies in St. Alexander and St. Barnabas, he was assigned to teach in Lodi, and after two years the Superiors charged him with the preaching mission. After only a short time he became a most famous and requested preacher in all the cities of Italy.
The Abbot Pieri used to say: “In this orator I hear a man who seems to me the ambassador of God. Truly he was formed in the spirit of our Holy Apostle Paul, and this is why he used to preach not only in the great cities, but also in the country side, where in the midst of great efforts and pains, he gave many missions. But what will render immortal Fr. Quadrupani were his spiritual works, especially the little book entitled, Documents to tranquilize fearful souls in their doubts, golden norms taken from the teachings of the Saints and especially from the Doctor Francis de Sales. Many editions are made of this work.”
He was also a man of government and he guided the Lombard Province through very difficult times. His first concern was to increase the number of members accepting novices; and indeed quite a few of them, men of great wisdom and virtue, were of great help to him in the many commitments he had assumed. “Indeed he had great care for this,” Fr Cosimo Scotti wrote, “often he was in Monza to stir them to piety and to study. After the profession, he would get them together in Milan and, without being a burden to them, with very sweet manners, he would conquer their hearts and hold with his wisdom their will and mind. He would intervene in the literary and philosophical, and theological discussions, and he would direct them toward preaching.” Following the request of the Grand-Duke of Tuscany, he reopened the house in Livorno, which had been closed for two years.
Although so busy, he never stopped the preaching apostolate, and so he was able to die as a proud soldier on the line of duty. Exhausted by the hard work during some missions in the countryside, he collapsed in his own hometown, where he was resting for few days, on July 14, 1807, at the age of 67.
Fr. Alfred Toffetti, Fr. De Marino’s classmate, used to repeat over and over: Fr. De Marino was a saint. I have known a true saint!” A book has been written about “Physician Saints,” listing 66 of them, the latest of them is St. Joseph Moscati of Benevento (Italy). When will Fr. De Marino have his turn?
All those who have known him affirm that he would be a most perfect candidate. As he graduated from the school of medicine, he meticulously exercised his profession, especially with great Christian conscience. Physician and apostle, physician and saint.
He was born in Villaricca, outside Naples, in 1863. As a child he was sent to the Vittorio Alfieri boarding school in Naples, where it was a rule to have “daily prayer on their knees, and to recite the Rosary at the Angelus. Confessions on Saturdays and Mass on Sunday at St. Mary’s church.” For the lyceum he transferred to the Bianchi Institute of the Barnabites. He succeeded in every subject, except in Mathematics which forced him to repeat one year. He graduated from the University of Naples Medical school on August 10, 1887.
St. Anthony M. Zaccaria, Fr. Vittorio De Marino! Saints are often strange!
So many efforts and so much money to become a doctor, and instead they end up priests! Really, Fr. De Marino had felt the vocation when young, and he wanted to enter the Barnabite Congregation after his graduation, but his father had been very resolute: “You will be a Barnabite after our death:” his parents needed his financial assistance, and, besides, his sister Aspasia, seriously sick, needed his professional assistance. So for 23 years the Doctor De Marino practiced his profession in Naples.
He was the classical doctor, excellent, patient, always with too many patients. As a good Samaritan he was at home in the palaces of the rich and in the huts of the most forgotten poor. He was totally indifferent about fees and retributions. Once, called by a Dr. Stella for consultation, the relatives of the patient passed around the envelopes. Dr. Stella opened his to find it empty. Dr. De Marino found the same, and smiling he said: “My friend, they are poor, and not to feel ashamed, they thought to be... courteous!”
On February 19, 1910 his sister Aspasia died. Two months later, on April 21, he entered the novitiate in San Felice a Cancello. He was 47 years old. He professed the vows on July 5, 1911, and joined the young Barnabite students in Rome for theology. “He was one of us, with a tendency to disappear into a shadow. Humility, piety, study; here is the daily routine of Vittorio, considered by all of us a model to follow” (Fr. Gobbi).
On September 20, 1913, he was ordained a priest in the Basilica of St. John in Lateran. At the solemn profession that he had made on July 6 in St. Mary a Caravaggio in Naples, he had left everything to relatives who were poor, or to pious societies. To someone who had asked him if it had been hard to give up all his belongings, he answered: “Yes. I fought all night, but I won.”
In 1916 he was Superior and Master of novices in San Felice. There he would become also the great confessor, preacher, and retreat master for the people, the clergy and the religious. In a village by Salerno he healed a priest physically and spiritually, who was not celebrating the Mass any more. “Father, how could you be so patient with all?” he answered: “It is nothing else but charity.” Then the war came. San Felice was deprived of all medical assistance. With the permission of the Superiors, Fr. De Marino put his medical skill at the service of the people. Yes he cured bodies, but also the souls. To those who were suggesting moderation, his answer was: “My dear Father, the souls cannot be neglected,” or, coming back home in the evening having spent the whole day without eating, he would say: “Yes, I’m tired, but happy, because those who died today are already enjoying God’s vision.”
Someone complained about him with the “General Administration of the Doctors League,” because with his free service he was hurting other doctors’ interest. The answer was a public commendation for the work done for the benefit and comfort of the people.
In 1922 he was transferred from San Felice to Arpino, the home town of St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi, where he emulated his zeal and charity. During strong earthquakes he knelt in the midst of the terrorized crowd to invoke God’s mercy. He rode tirelessly through the country side to give his blessing and free the fields from devastating bugs.
In 1923 he was Superior in St. Mary a Caravaggio in Naples, always as a patient confessor, wise spiritual director, consoler of the poor and the sick. In 1928 he was back in San Felice to lavish the treasures of his holiness and medical profession on the people who venerated him and would run to him with a faith suited to move mountains.
By now the years and the efforts were showing their marks on a body which had never been too robust. But he was ready for the final call. He was afflicted by “severe pains,” which he “bore with edifying resignation: “My dear Madonna, you help me, help me... It is better that I suffer, instead of you,” he would say to his confreres, “me, not you.”
On July 14, he told his nephew: “Guglielmo, come on the day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and you will find me healthy.” Intuition or revelation? On July 16, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, his special devotion, he died in the Lord in our Bianchi Institute In Naples, where he been brought hoping for better care.
John Vigliotti had been a Barnabite seminarian, but had to leave the Congregation for health reason, and became a diocesan priest. He had known Fr. Vittorio De Marino in Arpino and in San Felice, indeed, he was the one to accompany him to Naples during his last illness. After Fr. De Marino’s death he pressured the Superiors to introduce the cause of Beatification but without results. Finally he went personally to Rome to talk to Fr. General, Idelfonso Clerici. Back in San Felice he had no trouble in collecting the 500 signatures needed to introduce the canonical process. He took care of all the documents to move the body from Naples to the Barnabite church of St. John in San Felice: which took place on May 5, 1955.
Since the archdiocese of Naples, being overworked, could not take care of the ordinary process, Fr. Vigliotti had the application moved to the diocese of San Felice itself, Acerra. In 1975-77 the archdiocese of Naples confirmed the approval by Acerra, and promulgated the official decree introducing the cause. The preliminary process was approved on October 2, 1981.
Ten years later, on June 9, 1992, the Congregation of the Saints examined the cause with positive results. On November 3, 1992 finally it declared the heroicity of the virtues of Fr. De Marino. The document was presented to the Holy Father, and John Paul II made it official on December 21, 1992: “The Barnabite Fr. Vittorio M. De Marino has exercised in an heroic way the theological, cardinal, and related virtues.” Therefore, now officially Fr. De Marino is a Venerable, and only a miracle, approved by the church, is needed for him to be proclaimed a Blessed.
Unfortunately Fr. John Vigliotti did not have the pleasure to see this come through as he died on October 7, 1992. Upon his retirement he had spent his years on the shadow of the Barnabite church of St. John in San Felice, celebrating there the daily Mass at 7:00 a.m., promoting pilgrimages to the tomb of Fr. De Marino, and even had the City to dedicate one of its streets to him.
The town of San Felice a Cancello remembers him in a marble plaque:
Fr. Armani was born in the Province of Trent on February 14, 1849. In 1858 he entered the Barnabite boarding school in Monza, graduating with highest honors. Meantime he had become an orphan of both of his parents, and had no brothers or sisters. After his graduation he decided to enter our Congregation. He received the habit on December 22, 1867, in St. Barnabas, and professed the vows on December 23, of the following year. He studied theology in Monza, where, in 1871, he was also asked to teach in his former school of St. Mary’s. He was ordained a priest on May 25, 1872.
All through his formation the young Priamo had shown to be an open, sincere and very sociable character, although with a remarkable but not unpleasant sense of seriousness. He proved to be an exemplar religious and a very conscientious student.
With a natural tendency for sciences, he registered at the University of Turin, and four years later he graduated in Mathematics and Physics. His first assignment was to teach in Lodi. Meantime he kept attending the University and in 1879 he graduated in Natural History too. As a teacher he revealed himself a great disciplinarian, showing a very sharp and clear mind with a great ability in communicating his knowledge.
In 1883, the General Chapter elected him Provincial Superior of Lombardy He kept his teaching position in Lodi, going to St. Barnabas once a week to the Provincial Office. From 1886 to 1889 he held various positions in Lodi and in Rome.
Together with the teaching assignment he kept a busy schedule with the confessional and the pulpit. Often he gave retreats to the diocesan clergy and religious communities. The spirit of faith was always his guide. He refused to advance in the field of sciences, even though invited by Fr. Denza to run the observatory in Moncalieri or to join him at the Vatican observatory. He preferred to dedicate himself to the theological studies, becoming quite an expert in them. Together with faith, he cherished a deep sense of prayer, spending a lot of his time in the choir, whenever he was free. He practiced in his life that deep sense of religious perfection inculcated in others by him as master of novices and as Superior. Great was the rigor of his poverty, avoiding anything that was superfluous, happy even with very old and consumed habits and clothes. He gave many proofs of his great humility, with a great sense of sincerity and simplicity especially in the chapters. He cared a lot for the virtue of fraternal correction according to the Gospel and the rules, as he never missed the opportunity to give counsel and guidance.
His external figure was a mirror of his interior life: thin, all bones, with an upright and tall stature, brisk and resolute in his gestures, a clear and metallic voice, in other words the vision of an ascetic, intellectual and energetic personality. In his last illness he became an example of patience. Unable to help himself, he became a model of resignation and serenity. On July 13, 1912 he received the Viaticum and Anointing, and on the 17th he expired, with the whole community present. His last words were: “Our Lady has helped me. I die.”
Fr. Peda was born in Camerino in 1767. He attended the novitiate in Zagarolo and professed his vows on November 23, 1787, studied theology in Rome, and was ordained a priest in 1797.
During the invasion by the French troops, our house and shrine in San Severino were heavily damaged. Fr. Peda was sent over to rebuild them, and in 1799 the new Superior, Fr. Valerio, was able to reopen the new community to apostolic activities. In 1800, Pius VII named him rector of the San Severino Seminary-boarding school, to be able to rebuild it. Meantime he was rector and professor of our school. It was at this time that he started his special friendship with Blessed Vincent M. Strambi, as he himself attests: “After leaving Rome, I heard that Fr. Vincent M. Strambi had been elected Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino. At the time I was Rector of the Seminary in San Severino. He passed through the city, and I got to meet him personally, presented to him by the Bishop of San Severino. Later I have met him many times in various places of the Marche...until his deportation.”
Fr. Peda remained in San Severino as Rector of the seminary for seven years. In 1807 he was elected Provincial Superior of the Roman Province, and he established his residence in Macerata. There he became more intimate with Bishop Strambi, and helped him greatly when Napoleon confiscated all the diocesan properties. When the Bishop was expelled, Fr. Peda made sure he would be warmly welcome in St. Barnabas in Milan. Meanwhile in 1810, Napoleon suppressed all Religious Orders, and so Fr. Peda found himself deprived of all his religious members and houses. During the suppression years he was called to be Rector of the local University in the Marche, which he did until 1821, when it became possible to reopen the Religious houses.
In 1822, Cardinal Fontana, new Superior General, sent him to Naples to deal with Ferdinand IV for the house of St. Mary’s a Caravaggio. Then he became the Procurator General, to be confirmed in the upcoming General Chapter of the same year and in the one of 1825. Finally, in the Chapter of 1829, he became Superior General.
Right away he paid a visit to all the houses to implement the following points: 1) regular observance; 2) election of Superiors; 3) to make sure mathematics and science were taught in our schools; 4) to keep harmony and peace. The results were good, as he attested in the 1835 Chapter: the students were excellent, and many were the demands for new foundations, but unable to satisfy them for lack of members. At the end of his term he became Assistant General, until he was nominated a Bishop. During this time he served not only the Congregation, but also the Church in various Vatican Congregations.
On July 12, 1841, Gregory XVI nominated him Bishop of Assisi, and he was consecrated in St. Charles by Cardinal Lambruschini. Unfortunately he lasted only two years. He spent them in full dedication to his mission as shepherd of the diocese. He died on July 21, 1843, at the age of 76.
Fr. Rasini was born in Niece, in 1690. When 20, he joined the Barnabites in Genoa professing the vows on November 20, 1710. After ordination he taught in our school in Casale, until he was selected to be on the delegation assigned to China by Clement VII for the Chinese Rights dispute with the Emperor of China. He was the faithful companion of the Apostolic Legate, Bishop Mezzabarba, and he wrote many letters describing the long and tortuous trip.
They embarked on March 25, 1720, heading for Brasil, then they went around the cape of Good Hope to be hit by a terrible storm: “The captain, terrified, was crying and invoking God and the Saints.... We joined our prayers to his, and toward midnight... God sent us the one wind able to save us, and so we gave praise to God, and happily we continued on our journey.” But it was not the end: “In the Macao Gulf God made us realize that it was only through his protection that our trip was safe, because a terrible storm broke out for three days, so that we thought to perish in front of China. We blessed the sea with the relic of the Holy Cross, given by the Pope to the Patriarch, and we recited the Litanies of the Saints asking God to save us, as indeed He did.” They were welcomed by a large crowd, and on October 7 they proceeded toward Canton.
At the end of the unsuccessful mission in Beijing, they went back to Canton, where Fr. Casati and Fr. Rasini were assigned. He studied the language and stayed with the French Missionaries until 1725. At the death of Fr. Casati he moved to Indo-China to reach Fr. De Alessandri. In this new field he had a lot to suffer, but he knew how to take it with patience and a spirit of sacrifice, until he died on July 25, 1736.
He was gifted with a lively spirit, and an acute intelligence, with a very generous heart, and an amiable disposition.
Fr. Bucci started his priestly life serving the victims of the pestilence in Lodi, and he finished his life 30 years later, in 1556, serving the victims of the pestilence in Naples.
He had entered the Congregation when 22, professing his vows in Zagarolo in 1626. He studied theology in Pavia, and was ordained a priest in June, 1629. His first assignment was in Lodi as preacher and procurator. In May 1630 the pestilence hit the city. Fr Bucci asked permission from Father General to dedicate himself to the care of the victims. Having received the permission, he put himself at the disposal of the local Bishop, who put him in charge of all the victims, and gave him a little house in the St. Francis Square to be used as a center. Day and night he served the victims with great devotion and dedication, especially when some of his own confreres became sick. Although he was in the midst of all that misery, God, in his Goodness, preserved him from the plague, keeping him healthy and strong.
At the end of September, when the plague subsided, he was put in charge of St. Alexander in Milan, which was facing a tough moment through the opposition of some diocesan curialists who wanted to take the church away from our Fathers. Facing the danger of imprisonment, Fr Bucci for one year exercised his ministry in the parish, although not having an official approval, until finally the Sacred Rota closed the case in favor of our Fathers. And so Fr. Bucci, in July 1631, left the direction in the hands of Fr. Pious Cassetta. He just kept working in all humility and dedication.
In 1650 we find him in Naples as preacher and Procurator. There too he served with great dedication and success, until the plague afflicted the whole city, and this time he himself was a victim. He died on July 27, 1656.
Giacinto Teppa was born in Cantoira (Torino), on March 8, 1806. An ambitious and intelligent young man, he pursued and obtained a Law degree before entering our Novitiate in Genoa. He was 20 years old. He received the habit on November 8, 1927 assuming the name Alexander, and professed the vows on November 9 of the following year in the hands of Fr. Joseph Gavotti, local superior. He completed the theological studies in Turin and was ordained a priest in 1829.
His first assignment was to teach Physics and Mathematics in Bologna, while attending to the students as spiritual director. In 1842 he was transferred to Asti to teach our seminarians, and then back to Bologna. In 1847 he was elected Provincial Superior of Piedmont, and in 1835 Superior of St. Bartholomew in Genoa, and General Visitor. Three years later he was Rector in Moncalieri, and then Provincial Superior again from 1859 to 1867, when he was elected Superior General.
During his term, Pius IX made him a consultor of the Congregation of Rites, and a voting member of the Vatican Council I. In the General Chapter of 1870 he was confirmed as Superior General, but on July 27, 1871 he died suddenly.
Fr Colombo wrote: “With sadness we have to acknowledge the death of this venerable confrere, on July 27, 1871, caused by apoplexy. He had been a valuable writer, known not only in Italy, but also outside, for his spiritual and biographical works...., with literary merits, with a background of chosen doctrines of holiness and evangelical perfection. Some titles: the Life of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria, the Life of the Carmelite Blessed Mary of the Angels..., Jesus in the heart of Mary, God our Father, Mary Mother of beautiful love...., Fr. Teppa was very dear to his friends and the youth for his noble manners, for the modesty of his soul, for an enlightened piety, for the wisdom of his conversation. .. Fr. Teppa opened his days in a town of the Province of Turin, in the year 1806. As a young man he was a lawyer... As a Barnabite for a while he was dedicated to the exact sciences, but especially he gave himself to the ministry of the souls. He was appreciated by Cardinals and Bishops and other authorities.”
"Sangermano, a Barnabite, was sent out in 1782 to aid in the mission in what is now Burma; the order had been assigned Ava and Pegu in Burma, a mission they maintained until 1832. Arriving in Rangoon in July 1783, he went on to reside in Ava. He soon returned to Rangoon where he worked spend the rest of his career in Burma, and where he also ministered to the descendants of Portuguese colonists, who had been deported to a remote region after the Portuguese rulers in Thanlyin had been defeated in the early seventeenth century; apparently Sangermano found two thousand of them still maintaining their religion. By all accounts he was successful in his mission, and counted the wife of the Viceroy of Pegu among those who attended his church (though she never converted). He also documented what he saw among the peoples he visited, including for instance the Karen, and his notes are some of the earliest Western witnesses to the Burmese people. He learned the Burmese language, studied the literature, and was held "in high estimation by the natives for his exemplary life and inoffensive manners." Sangermano was a skilled draughtsman, and received a lifelong pension from the British East India Company for having drawn a very accurate map of the port of Rangoon.
He returned to Italy in 1808, and while he had wished to return to his mission, the Napoleonic invasion and the ensuing war prevented him from doing so. He became president of the Barnabite order in Arpino, all the while preparing a manuscript outlining his experiences in Burma, but his death in 1819 preventing him from seeing the publication of the book. Apparently, he died in Livorno, preparing to sail for Burma again.
|Source: Wikipedia: Vincentius Sangermano |
- Other links regarding Fr. Sangermano
Born in Livorno in 1786, very young he entered our Congregation. He professed the vows in San Severino in 1808.
After his ordination in Rome, he was assigned to Livorno as a teacher. Here he became a good friend of a local priest, John Quilia, founder of an institute for young poor girls, and cooperated with him in the preaching apostolate and in the spiritual care of the institute.
In 1825 he was assigned to Asti. Here he gained the reputation as an angel sent by God, father of the poor, the counselor of the rich. Following his experience in Livorno, with the help of the rich, he too opened an institute for poor and abandoned girls. The institute was opened in October, 1839, in a private home, then, approved by Royal decree, moved in the present locale in Brofferito Street. They are commonly known as the Tellines, from his name. He was the director until his death.
Although busy with this institute, Fr. Tellini kept working in our parish of St. Martin for 31 years as the parish priest. He died on July 29, 1856, at the age of 70.
Eliseo Coroli was born on February 2, 1900 in Corato of Castelnuovo Val Tidone (Piacenza). When 11 Elsieo entered the St. Bartolomeo Barnabite seminary in Genoa. When 14, his father wanted him to enter the diocesan seminary in Piacenza, but Eliseo had made up his mind to be a Barnabite, so he remained in Genoa until 1916 when he went to Monza for the novitiate. He professed the vows on November 22, 1917 in the hands of Fr. Luigi Manzini, provincial Superior. Then he moved to Lodi for the Liceum, but in 1918 he was drafted by the army. The military life did not diminish his religious commitment, but more than ever he tried to practice it, especially through daily communion, as much as possible. He was released in 1920, and so he was able to return to Lodi to complete his philosophical studies. For theology he went to Rome, and there he was ordained a priest in 1924 by Cardinal Basilio Pompili, together with his classmate Placido Cambiaghi, future bishop of Crema and Novara.
Missionary and bishop in Brazil
The 24 year old newly ordained was assigned to the mission in Brasil, where he would be joined few years later by his own brother Fr. Paolo Coroli. Brasil became for both of them their second country. Father Eliseo realizes immediately that a missionary needs to be a practical man as “the priest who has holiness together with the gift of moral counsel and a material interest is much more in demand and will do much more good!” Convinced of this, he wrote to any Barnabite who might be interested in the mission, encouraging them to prepare themselves with some knowledge of medicine, architecture, and agriculture.
Between 1924 and 1982, he spent his spiritual and physical energies in the seminary of Jacarepaguà and then in the Guamà mission entrusted to the Barnabites by Pius XI in 1928, with Ourém as the center. Here he was joined by Fr. François Richard as Apostolic Administrator, and Fr. Angelo Moretti. Fr. Coroli, in charge of four parishes covering 40,000 kms., dedicated himself to the classic missionary activity full of adventures, difficulties, and unexpected events, but also enriched by great apostolic satisfactions sharing in full the life of poverty and uncertainty with the people. In 1935, as he took over the parish of St. Miguel do Guamà, he experienced more than ever how limited his powers were, so he felt the need to have cooperators. It was the seed-idea of a new religious institute of women.
At the end of 1937 he got sick with malaria, therefore he was forced to return to Italy for the necessary cure. Meantime, Fr. Richard exhausted by years of relentless missionary activity in Brazil, was forced to retire. The Holy See called upon his closest collaborator, Fr. Eliseo, to take over as Apostolic Administrator as the center was transferred from Ourém to Bragança. He was only 37 years old, but well tempered by the missionary experience. He had a vast program in mind for which he needed help, so he turned this time to the Sisters of the Precious Blood in Monza. In April of 1938 he had the joy of giving the Crucifix to the first missionary Sisters on the way to Brazil. In August 1940 Fr. Coroli received his nomination as Bishop of Zama, the Major and Prelate “nullius” of Guamà. He was consecrated on October 13 in Rio de Janeiro by the Apostolic Nuncio Aloisi Masella. Dom Eliseu, as he was to be called, had only one dream, to conquer all for Christ!
A vast field of apostolate was in front of him and immediately he realized that it could be realized only through specialized personnel, first of all well trained catechists. With the help of benefactors and his confreres, he was able to organize and establish seven specific programs.
The first was the school of “St. Teresinha” to prepare catechists and cooperators. The project, born in 1938, slowly developed to be a real cultural, social, and religious center for the city of Bragança and the whole Prelacy.
In 1948, in Ourèm, he was able to bring to reality is long sought dream, the foundation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Tereshina, the pupil of his eyes, whose official baptism will take place on March 25, 1954. It is an institute for women who are formed as teachers and nurses, and properly prepared for the hard work of the mission so that they could be sent in the most remote areas at the service of the poorest of the poor, committed to the catechesis, the liturgy and parochial activities, enriched by some privileges, unique at that time, like to keep in their house the Blessed Sacrament and distribute communion to the faithful on their own or helping a missionary. The institute was approved in 1976, and Dom Eliseu obtained for them a fourth vow: the apostolate of joy: they had to be committed to bring joy and serenity to their neighbors. On October 1, 1982, the Congregation became of Pontifical right.
In 1953, after experiencing the sad death of a mother in giving birth, Dom Eliseu decided to build the maternity hospital “Mother of Divine Providence,” where doctors and nurses offer their wonderful services to expectant mothers and their children, even if means and personnel sometimes are scarce.
The following year was the turn of the “St. Anthony M. Zaccaria Hospital” for general illnesses, properly equipped for surgery and first aid… where even the poorest could find assistance.
In 1960 he was instrumental for the installation of the “Radio educadora” with more than a thousand receiving stations to reach the most remote villages and offer to the people courses in catechesis, basic general education, technical and socio-economic information, news, and even recreational programs. The transmissions go way beyond the Prelacy, received even in Norway!
In 1965, with tremendous sacrifices, Dom Eliseu opened the minor seminary for local youth with the vocation to religious life and to the priesthood, dedicated to St. Alexander Sauli.
Finally, in 1971, it was the turn of the great “Centro di Treinamento” to train men and women in the pastoral work and so promote a laity mature in the faith.
We must add the organization of the Catholic Action movement with its various branches for the renewal of the parishes, always aware of the rights of the poor and the need of social justice and peace, in a political context too often very difficult. Don Eliseu had a tremendous intuition for the needs of the time, but knew how to avoid any extremism. Pius XII, on the occasion of his 25th Episcopal anniversary, defined him as an “uncompromising minister of Christ,” and “faithful dispenser of God’s mysteries,” capable to nourish his flock with the same “pasture” with which he was feeding himself, with prayer, the Word, his very life.
The title as “Bishop of prayer” was given to Don Eliseu by his fellow Bishops of North Brasil. Many will see him on the streets with his rosary at hand, murmuring ejaculations, faithful to his resolution: “Every day I will renew my fervor with hundreds and hundreds of ejaculations, loving affections, good thoughts, because these holy exercises elevate the mind to God immersing our spirit in God, and bringing all our actions to him.”
What was amazing in the life of Don Eliseu was his innocence, his smile, the splendor of his eyes: “His smile was a reflection of God in his soul,” one of his spiritual daughters affirms. This was the fruit of his constant union with the Lord and of his joy. To compliment his spiritual life there was a tender and filial devotion to the Blessed Mother, as he was saying: “I want to love the Mother of God, who has become my most tender mother: Mamma, I want to be a miracle of your mercy and of your love!”
On April 23, 1977, due to his age, Dom Eliseu presented his resignation as Bishop of the Guamà Prelacy, retiring with his spiritual daughters. On July 29, 1982, “the apostle of joy” closed his earthly pilgrimage with the assurance that soon his desire to have the Congregation of his daughters erected to the Pontifical status.
Paul VI on February 13, 1975, during the Lenten station in St. Peter, referring to the ad limina visit by Dom Eliseu, said: “A missionary, who has come to visit me during these days, was telling me of the happy results of one of his initiatives: the apostolate of joy. Isn’t this an authentic and wise interpretation of the Gospel, the message of the Good News?” And Bishop Andrea Erba, a Barnabite, wrote: “Everything makes us believe that this encounter must have inspired or comforted the Pope in publishing his apostolic exhortation Gaudete in Domino about Christian joy, published on May 9, 1975,” and he was commenting that in the chapter about “The joy in the hearts of the saints,” the Pope had described the figure of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who had been, without doubt, the guiding star for Dom Eliseu as a priest and as a bishop.
Fr. Frediani, orphaned by his father, was raised with a deep spirit of faith by his mother. When 16 he entered our novitiate in San Severino. He pursued his studies in Bologna, but in 1839 he was assigned as a teacher in Vercelli, and then in Moncalieri, where he was ordained a priest in 1842.
In 1846 he was in Rome for further studies, and then we find him as spiritual director in various schools: Perugia, Parma, Vercelli, Bologna, and finally in 1847, in Moncalieri, where he stayed for forty years, until his death, always as spiritual director.
He was a very energetic man, but with an exquisite bounty, enriched with a constant joyful attitude. Although well qualified in various sciences, especially history, he dedicated himself to the sacred ministry. He was elected General Visitor, and also Consultor of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops and Regulars. He dedicated himself also to the preaching apostolate.
While in the summer house of Noli, he got sick with pneumonia, and died on July 30, 1896.
Born in Milan in 1746, Fr. Mazzucchelli entered the Congregation at 18. He professed his vows on November 3, in Zagarolo. After the ordination he was assigned to the mission in Burma, together with Fr. Louis Grondona, and a secular priest, Pasquale Fantasia.
He departed in 1776, and after nine months, on August 9, he finally reached Pondichery, to move to Madras with the Capuchins. In September he was able to leave for Rangoon, and reach it by the end of the month, after another adventurous trip.
After learning the language, Fr. Mazzucchelli was put in charge of the education of the seminarians in Monlà first and then in Nabek. He dedicated himself also to the spiritual care of the catechumens and the conversion of the gentiles. But the climate and local conditions had the best of him. After two years he became seriously sick. Our Brother Bergozzi, valiant medical doctor, tried his best to save him, and for a while Fr. John was able to return to his frantic activities, but not for too long. He collapsed in the middle of 1781.
Fr. Gallo wrote: “He was a man of integral life and apostolic zeal. God made his efforts fruitful with not few conversions of gentiles to the faith...”
Born in 1770 in Ancona, in the same city he would be Archbishop for 12 years till his death in 1850. He was an untiring pastor of souls, and a great orator, which he started already as a Barnabite student after his novitiate in San Severino.
He became a demanded Lenten preacher in the major cities: Venice, Milan, Bologna, Spoleto, Genoa, Pesaro, Naples. In his short stays in Rome he gave many conferences at the Academy of Catholic Religion.
In 1816 he became Assistant General, and then Examiner of Bishops, and Consultor of the Holy Office.
On January 21, 1821 he became Bishop of Cesena. He wrote: “Thanks to God I am doing great. Up to now I am appreciated; I have created oratorios, youth groups, academies, etc., with great results. I know that after the Hosannas, the ‘crucify him’ will come, but I just take care of the present day.” Indeed, he was a very tranquil person with a sharp mind, unafraid of difficulties, aware of the supernatural power. He paid regular visits to the diocese, and in 1825, he published the decrees of the Synod.
In 1838 Pope Gregory transferred him to Ancona, his birth-place. And in 1843 he became a Cardinal. He introduced in the city the Buffalin Missionaries, and the Christian Brothers for a better Christian education. He died in 1850.