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.

4301 Hecktown Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Menologion - October

Since we have to be ministers not only of our salvation but also of the salvation of the people entrusted to us; since ours is an office of angels; since it is up to us to be exponents of Christian perfection; since we are ministers of God, as we deal with the Sacraments and other most holy mysteries; since our life is consecrated and dedicated to God; since we are presented as mirrors and temple of good living for the whole people; since we are supposed be mediators to reconcile God with souls; and, finally, since we have been put as the eyes of this Mystical Body of the Holy Church, and successors of the Apostles and  the disciples of Christ, for these and many other reasons we are required by justice to make any effort to achieve the perfection of the spiritual life, trying to become saints.

(St. Alexander Sauli)

 

 

OCTOBER

1    October
- 1725     Breve of Benedict XIII, assigning in perpetuity to the Barnabites the right to have a member in the Sacred Congregation of Rites
- 1755     Father ONORATO FERRARIS (1685-1755), First missionary in China.
 
2    October
- 1584    Father NICHOLAS D’AVIANO (1509-1584), An apostolic man.
 
3    October
- 1633      Ven. Mother GIOVANNA VISCONTI BORROMEO, more than once Prioress of the St. Paul Monastery in Milan.
 
4    October
- 1536     The spiritual daughters of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria choose to be called “Angelic Sisters” of St. Paul, as suggested by the young novice Agnese Baldironi.
- 1871     Father LEONARDO MATERA (? – 1871), Spiritual director of the Ven. Caterina Volpicelli, foundress of the Maidens of the Sacred Heart.
  
5    October
  - 1520     Anthony Mary’s testament in favor of his cousin Bernardo. On the 16th he will make a total donation of his inheritance in favor of his mother.
  
6    October
- 1614      First house outside Italy, in Annecy (Savoy), at the request of St. Francis De Sales.
- 1615      Ven. Bishop CHARLES BASCAPÈ (1550-1615), 2nd Superior General - Bishop of Novara.
  
7    October
- 1802     Father JOHN CRISOSTOMO FAVRE (1741-1802), Apostle in Savoy.
- 1918     Student LIVIO MIGLIORINI (1893-1918), Victim of World War I.
  
8    October
  - 1538      From Cremona, Anthony Mary, together with the Angelic Paola Antonia Negri, writes to Bartolomeo Ferrari and the      missionaries in Vicenza
- 1681      Father AUGUSTINE GALLICIO (1592-1681), 21st Superior General.
- 1708      Cardinal JAMES MORIGIA (1633-1708), Archbishop of Florence and Pavia.
  
10  October
- 1677      Bishop OTTAVIO DELLA ROVERE (1606-1677), Bishop of Fossano.
- 1728      Father PHILIP PETRUCCI (1661-1728), 31st Superior General.
- 1857      Opening of the first Barnabite seminary in Gien, France.
  
11 October
- 1592    St. ALEXANDER SAULI (1534-1592), 6th Superior General - Bishop of Aleria (Corsica) and Pavia.
- 1727    Bishop PETER ANTHONY PIETRASANTA (1657-1727), Bishop of Martorana.
- 1764    Father SILVIO VAINI (I712-1764), 40th Superior General.
  
12 October
- 1937      Father FRANCIS SALESIO FRACASSETTI (1855-1937), man of deep faith and piety.
- 1943     Father ERMINIO RONDINI (1895 – 1943), Founder, together with Anna Ventura, of the Sisters Little Workers of the  Sacred Heart.
  
13 October
- 1621      Bishop ISIDRO PENTORTO (1571-1621), Bishop of Asti.
  
14  October
- 1670      The beginning of a long period as Superior for Mother Agata d’Este, ASP, author of “Eucharistic Dialogues”.
- 1743     Bishop FRANCIS GATTINARA (1658-1743), Archbishop of Turin.
  
15  October
- 1535    The Angelics move to the new monastery of St. Paul, near St. Eufemia, founded by the Countess Torelli, leaving to the Barnabites their old convent by St. Ambrose.
  
16  October
- 1637      Father INNOCENT CHIESA (1567- 1637), Preacher, confessor, and a scholar.
- 1807      Father FRANCIS KONTER (1775-1807), Outstanding pastor of St. Michael in Vienna.
  
17  October
- 1847       Father JOHN PHILIP LEONARDI (1783-1847), Master of the spirit.
  
18  October
- 1535     The Countess Torelli makes the three Founders her universal heirs.
- 1623     Father PAUL RICORDATI (1547-1623), Co-founder the Annunciation Congregation.
  
21 October
- 1545     Our Motherhouse of St. Barnabas in Milan is purchased by the co-founder Fr. Anthony Morigia
- 1622     Father THOMAS GALLO (1570-1622), First Dean of Studies.
- 1951     Canonization of St. Francis Xavier M. Bianchi by Pius XII
  
22  October
- 1617     Father GUGLIELMO GRAMOISY (1573-1617), Great preacher in Savoy.
  
23  October
- 1748     Father Thomas Francis Rotario welcomes the request by Clement XI to send Barnabite missionaries in Burma.
  
24  October
- 1971     Mother GIOVANNA FRANCESCA BRAMBINI (? – 1971), Superior General of the Angelics (1946-1971). She was able to move the general curia and the novitiate from Milan to Rome (Torre Gaia) in 1948.
  
25 October
- 1798     Father MARCELLO CORTENOVIS (1731-1798), Missionary in Burma.
  
27  October
- 1944     Father PATERNÒ-CASTELLO (? – 1944), ee and his wife Angelina decide to enter Religious Life, he as a Barnabite and she as a Carmelite nun
  
28 October
- 1579     The Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla dies in Milan.
- 1946     Father JOSEPH MAMBRETTI (? – 1946), Founder of the Retreat House in Eupilio. He was able to obtain the restitutio to the Order of the Basilica of St. Paul Major in Bologna.
  
31 October
- 1545     Father JOHN JAMES DE-CASEIS (14? - 1545), one of the first five companions of the Holy Founder.
- 1897     Father BENEDICT NISSER (1835-1897), 62nd Superior General.
- 1627     First foundation in Czechoslovakia: St. Benedict parish in Prague.
 

 

 October 1
FATHER ONORATO FERRARIS
First missionary in China
(1685-1755)

In 1685, Fr. Ferraris was born in Vercelli. He professed the vows as a Barnabite on August 6, 1701 in the Zagarolo novitiate. We have no news about his studies and ordination. He spent his first years as a priest in the Piedmont area, especially in Vercelli and Chieri. He was extremely busy as a preacher.

On February 1, 1719, together with Fr. Cesati, he left Rome for Paris, and then towards India, as Pontifical Pro-legates to the China Emperor for the question of the Chinese Rites. During the trip Fr. Ferraris three times was near death, but the Lord spared him for His mission. Finally on August 24, 1720 they landed in Canton. Welcomed by Fr. Laureati, they were sent for by the Emperor to receive the instructions of the Pontifical messengers. They reached a countryside where the Emperor was hunting, but they were not received because the Pope’s answer was considered repetitious. Instead, they were sent to Beijing, almost under house arrest, in a small dwelling. At the end of the year they were able to join Bishop Mezzabarba, Pontifical Legate, as be reached Beijing himself.

When the Legation, having failed in its mission, was dissolved, Fr. Ferraris was assigned to Canton; but the Emperor, having stared at him, said: “This one I want at my Court because he is sincere!”  It was a blessing for him because of his asthma condition. So Fr. Ferraris for two years remained in Beijing with the missionaries of Propaganda Fide. During this time he studied the language and tried his best to evangelize as much as he could. Accompanied by a catechist, he moved around to baptize some adults and a few dying children who had been abandoned by their parents.

In 1723, the old Emperor died. The new Emperor banned the Christian religion; therefore, Fr. Ferraris returned to Italy, hoping for better times. He gave a report of his activities to Innocent XII and then went to Zagarolo as Superior.

In 1732 he received the permission to return to China. He was going to go through Mexico, but the Spanish government had just issued a ruling that no one could do that without a written permission from the King of Spain. For one year he waited for the permit, but in the meantime the favorable season for sailing passed, so he would have to wait another year. He therefore decided to go back to Piedmont and was assigned to Asti, Chieri, and Vercelli. In Chieri he took part in theological discussions among Religious of the city and was elected Vicar of the Community. In 1736 he went first to Casalmonferrato and then to Vercelli where he stayed for about twenty years till his death.

The acts of the community remember two famous and fruitful missions preached by Fr. Ferraris: in 1739, in the Diocese of Vigevano, and in 1740, in Vercelli itself. In 1739, the area experienced a very destructive drought. The farmers turned to God for help. The Barnabites of St. Christopher, with bare feet, ropes around their necks and in procession reciting the Miserere, went to the cathedral where Fr. Ferraris addressed the people with great zeal and ardor. The procession then returned to St. Christopher for another fiery sermon by Fr. Ferraris, which drew all to tears. The ceremony ended with a benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. At that point the sky became cloudy and abundant rain came to water the fields.

Fr. Feraris died on October 1, 1755, at the age of 70.

 

 October 2
FATHER NICHOLAS D’AVIANO
An apostolic man
(1509-1584)

Fr. D’Aviano was attracted to our Congregation by the example and words of Fr. Da Lecco, one of the Founder’s first companions. He received the habit from Fr. Moriga in 1541. The following year he celebrated his first Mass in the church of St. Paul of the Angelics. His assignments brought him to Rome, Perugia, and Venice. In Milan he took the direction of the Converted for five years, and then of the ones in Vicenza, until 1550, when the Congregation was hit by the Venetian ban.

Assigned to Cremona he took the direction of the Angelics, of the Christian Doctrine in St. Jerome, and of the Converted. He was also asked to try to help in the reform of the Congregation of the Humiliates but with no avail. In 1571 he returned to Milan to spend his last years there. He died on October 2, 1571, at the age of 75.

“This venerable and old priest died at the beginning of October of this year, consumed by his work. Fr. Nicolò D’Aviano, almost 80, was born a citizen of Venice. For 44 years he shined in the Order for his unique spotless life, great humility and obedience, and as a rare mirror of every virtue...a true image of the ancient Fathers. He is worthy to be mentioned for his great example of humility given at the end of his life, which moved all those present to imitate this virtue. A few months before getting sick, hardly holding himself with a cane, Fr. D’Aviano appeared in the refectory while all the Fathers were having dinner. He prostrated himself on the floor, accused himself as a worthless man, and begged the Superior that for the rest of his life, which he knew to be short, to order him to sit at the last place after the priests. This is what the good Father did, with great humility and joy in his heart. He did not avoid any heavy effort to work for the good of souls. This is how he consumed his life. Aware of the approaching end, he felt such great joy, that he started to sing psalms and hymns with a delight and suavity to draw tears from those who heard him. Finally, having received all the Sacraments, with his lips indicating a slight smile, he went to God on October 2nd of 1584.”

 

October 4

Address of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria to his followers at the vigil of the first trial.

Sermon 7 - "The Exhortation of October 4, 1534"

 

1.    Our Persecutions: Pre-announced by Christ
   "We are fools for the sake of Christ,”2 said St. Paul, our most holy guide and patron, of himself, of the other Apostles, and of those who profess the Christian and apostolic faith. But there is no reason to be surprised or afraid, my dear brothers, if we are troubled by the snares and deceits of the devil, or by the open attacks and insults of people with minds set on earthly things3. For " 'Servants are not greater than their master.' If they persecuted me, —said our Teacher and Lord—they will persecute you.”4 The world cannot help hating you; “if you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own.”5 
 
"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”6 As you well know, our Savior and heavenly Teacher foretold that similar things would happen to us, so that we would not be surprised as if they were new and unexpected. He confirmed it by His example, so that we would not fear to experience them as being unbearable. However, those who persecute us are hurting themselves, because they provoke God's wrath against themselves. At the same time they benefit us, because they enhance our crown of eternal glory.
 
2.     Our Attitude in the Face of Persecutions
We, therefore, instead of hating and detesting them, have to pity them and love them. Indeed, we have to pray for them7 and, as our Apostle warns us, we should not allow evil to control us but instead we should conquer it with good and heap on their heads acts of mercy as so many burning coals of charity,8 so that they, seeing our patience and confounded in their iniquity, may return to a better life and be inflamed with God's love.
  
3.    The Advantages of Patience
 As for us, God in His mercy has taken us, though unworthy, out of the world, so that we may serve Him, advancing from virtue to virtue, and through patience, bear abundant fruits of charity, boasting not only of the hope of God's children but also of our afflictions. For we know “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us."9 
 
4.    The Example of Jesus Christ and of St. Paul
 But what is there so great and worthy of admiration, my brothers, if the worldly scorn us for being fools for Christ's sake, and persecute us when Christ Himself, the very Son of God and God's Wisdom, willed to be treated as a fool and be scorned and despised for our sake? And didn't our Apostle—the most excellent Doctor of the Nations—show himself and the other Apostles, as we have already said, a pattern of derision for us when he said, “We are fools for the sake of Christ [...] when slandered, we speak kindly.”10 Are we, perhaps, wiser than the Apostles? Are we perhaps, or do we claim to be, in a better position than Christ? Is there anyone of us who thinks he is wiser than the others? But if someone is that wise, let him become a fool that he may become wise.11
 
5.    Our Vocation: A Participation in the Suffering of Christ
 Well then, “consider your own call, brothers,”—I speak to you with the very words of the Apostle,—“not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are.”12
 
Consider your own calling, my dear brothers. If we examine it carefully, we would easily recognize that this is what it demands of us. As we have started to follow, though from afar, in the footsteps of the Holy Apostles and of the other Knights of Christ, so let us not refuse to share in their suffering; bearing these trials which are much lighter than theirs.
As a result, just as in times past, the Catholic Church, despite the hardest persecutions she had to endure, did not diminish in number, but rather increased more and more; so this little part of her body will not be weakened by outrages, but will increase if we endure; and while it is subjected to hardships, it will grow stronger.
 
By walking on this road, the holy Martyrs, the glorious Confessors, and all the Saints of God, after having gone through fire and water, 13 reached heaven. And “indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”14
 
6.     The Model Offered by the Liturgy of the Day: St. Francis of Assisi
Let us look, among others, at St. Francis whose feast day we are celebrating, “so that we may not loathe imitating that which we delight in celebrating.”15 In him, in fact, as if in a mirror, there shine the most splendid example of Christian patience, profound humility, and, above all, the most ardent charity. Oh, how ready was he to accept reproaches! How strong in despising himself and the world! How firm when offended, how joyous when scorned! How prepared at enduring the most painful things for the love of Christ! He welcomed all kinds of abuses as the most precious jewels sent him from heaven; to him offenses were far more precious than praises; suffering for Christ's sake was more desirable than being happy in the world. Now he sits the higher and more glorious in heaven, the humbler and more despicable he was to his own eyes and the eyes of others while on earth.
 
Let us then, beloved brothers, imitate this saint, and let it not be a burden for us to follow in our own life and conduct the one we venerate with religious devotion and honor with praises.
 
7.    Conclusion: St. Paul, Our Father and Guide:
–      Pointing to us the Crucified Lord
–      Teaching us How to Imitate Him
–      Inviting us to Fidelity
 
And, concluding with the Apostle, "let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."16  And let us also “commend ourselves, as servants of God, in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness [... ]with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true."17

Therefore, since we have chosen such an Apostle as guide and father and have committed ourselves to follow him, let us strive to put into practice his doctrine and his example. It would not be proper that in the ranks of such a captain there should be soldiers who are cowards and traitors, or that the children of such a great father should be degenerate. 

______
NOTES:

The Exhortation of October 4, 1534  Pdf Format
 
1.  One of these religious, Fr. Battista Soresina (1512-1601) who had treasured this famous speech in his heart, and could later on repeat it almost word for word, did enact it to our second–generation Fathers, among them Fr. Giovanni Antonio Gabuzio (1551-1627), our first official historian, who paraphrased it in elegant Latin in his History of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Rome: Salviucci, 1852) 52-56.
 2.  1Cor 4:10.
 3.  cf. Phil 3:19. "Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things."
 4.   Jn 15:20.
 5.   Jn 15:19.
 6.   Mt 5:11–12.
 7.   cf. Mt 5:44. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
 8.   cf. Rom 12:20–21. "No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.."
 9.   Rom 5:3–5.
10.  1 Cor 4:10,13.
11. cf. 1Cor 3:18 "Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise."
12.  1 Cor 1:26–28.
13.  cf. Ps 66:12. "you let people ride over our heads;we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place." 
14.  2 Tm 3:l2.
15.  PL 39.2161. 
16.  Heb 12:1–4.
17.  2 Cor 6:4–8.

________________________________________________

 FATHER LEONARD MATERA
 Excellent in mathematics and physics
 (1811-1871)

 “Fr Matera was a man who in all his doings had no other end but to abide with what he knew would bring pleasure to God. If we consider either the depth of his science, or his performance in the various offices he covered, or if we consider his many virtues, any of his works is a testimony that whatever he did, he did it to please God.”

He was born in Naples on September 17, 1811. He was a student in our school “St. Joseph at Pontecorvo.” He graduated from the University of Naples in Philosophy and Law, and started to work as a lawyer. But at this time the attraction toward his mentors in Pontecorvo became stronger, and so he asked to be admitted in the community. He professed the vows on February 12, 1823, at the age of 24. He finished his theological studies in Rome, and was ordained a priest. Immediately he returned to Naples first to teach in his old school at Pontecorvo and then in Caravaggio.

At first he taught literature, but then the Superiors asked him to switch to Mathematics and Physics. He proved himself to be a genius in these subjects. In 1850 he published a volume on Trigonometry, and started to work on another about Analytic Geometry.

In 1850 the General Chapter created the Neapolitan Province and Fr. Matera was nominated its first Provincial Superior. He served for two terms, during which time he opened schools in Teramo and in Campobasso, and the novitiate in San Felice a Cancello.

In 1856 he became General Visitor, and then Superior in Pontecorvo. The natural piety he had since a child accompanied him throughout his life making him dear to the people and pleasing to God. He nourished a very tender devotion toward the Blessed Mother. He had an ardent devotion toward the Blessed Sacrament, and he used every possible means to awaken the faithful from lukewarmness toward the Blessed Sacrament.

He died on October 4, 1871 while he was Superior in Pontecorvo.

 

 

 

 October 6
 VEN. BISHOP CHARLES BASCAPÈ
 2nd Superior General - Bishop of Novara
 (1550-1615)

Fr. Bascapè was the man used by Divine Providence to give a final and regular shape to our Congregation. The Founder, having died so young, had only given an outline. St. Alexander Sauli could not carry out his plan as he was made a Bishop. So it will be Fr. Bascapè, under the auspices of St. Charles Borromeo, to give consistency to our Institute with a final Constitution.

Charles Bascapè was born in Marignano on October 25, 1550. Orphaned by his father as a child, he was educated by his mother who entrusted him to a pious and wise priest. Later he stayed with his older sister in Milan, having the opportunity to attend a circle of well-educated personalities.

In 1568 we find the 18 year old John Francis Bascapè studying Law at the University of Pavia, where he graduated in 1574. Back in Milan, he entered the College of the Noble Lawyers, which opened for him the diplomatic road to success in politics.

While practicing Law he was trying to discern what to do with his life. He took Fr. Paul Omodei, from St. Barnabas, as his spiritual director. He also became close to the Archbishop, St. Charles Borromeo. Eventually, with Fr. Omodei as intermediary, he offered his services to the Archbishop. A few days after Easter of 1575, he received the clerical habit, the tonsure and the four Minor Orders in St. Barnabas church.

Because of his humanistic and legal preparation, making him able to draft opinions and reports, and to formulate regulations for the many institutions rising from the reform of the Church, St. Charles realized immediately how useful this young man would be for the Diocese and the Church. So he made him a canon of the cathedral and his personal advisor. On March 17, 1576 he ordained him a Deacon, and the following July 29, a priest.

Meanwhile, St. Charles organized his own institute of the Oblates of St. Ambrose, and was thinking of putting Fr. Bascapè as Superior. But the young priest was not too happy with these kinds of activities, and started to think about Religious Life, always guided by Fr. Omodei. After a retreat in St. Barnabas, he made his decision; and on March 21, 1578, the feast of St. Benedict, he received the Barnabite habit. As a sign of devotion toward the Archbishop, he changed his name to Charles.

In 1583 we find him as the Vicar of the Community in St. Barnabas, and four months later he became Assistant General upon the death of one of them. On Easter of the following year he was elected Superior of the same Community. On November 4, St. Charles died assisted by his favored disciple. Fr. Bascapè started immediately to write his life, a task he will bring to completion in eight years.

On May 8, 1586, when only 36 years old, with only ten years of priestly experience and eight as a Religious, Charles Bascapè was elected Superior General of the Congregation. He had to face many complicated problems; but, we can say that Divine Providence had provided the right man for the task. He had been prepared through study of civil and ecclesiastical laws, the meditation on the Holy Scriptures and the works of the Fathers, and the experience acquired at the school of St. Charles. What was needed was “...a consolidation of the spirit of the institute and the education of its novices, the application of the new Constitutions and their eventual integral interpretation, the promotion of an organic development of the Congregation in its new pastoral tasks, the supervision of the cohesion of the houses, the cooperation among old and young Religious, entrusting to each a more suitable task with the hope of success, and to harmonize the needs of the Congregation with the pressures from outside.”

For sure he was not one to be scared and to withdraw in front of difficulties, or to undervalue them. Instead, he used all his enthusiasm, with faith and trust in Divine Providence, to face each of them. For the eight years (1586-1593) he was at the summit of the Congregation he made sure “to give a perfect form and consistency to the Congregation. For this purpose he was the first one to put into practice what was prescribed by the recent Constitutions” (Chiesa). During this period he addressed about thirty circular letters to the Superiors and his conferees, in which he would lay down his programs and challenge them “to live according to their vocation.” These letters show his great attachment to the Congregation, the fruit of a boundless love. In 1587 he received an invitation to open a new foundation in Portugal (a first one had been refused by Fr. Omodei in 1571), but he declined the invitation. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to have the Venetian ban of 1552 removed.

In December of 1592, while he was in Rome, rumors spread about his election as Bishop of Pavia. Instead, on February 6, 1693, Clement VIII nominated him Bishop of Novara, with his consecration taking place on the 24th. His Episcopal vocation will be well harmonized with his religious one. He wrote that he would always feel as a “good son of St. Paul.” From the very beginning he imposed on himself the respect for the residency, following the reform of Trent and the example of St. Charles.

Following the example of St. Charles, the newly appointed Bishop dedicated himself totally and completely to the care of his flock. First of all, he took care of the clergy, embarked on a very taxing pastoral visit of the whole Diocese, and during the 22 years as Bishop, he will hold three diocesan Synods.

He had brought into the Diocese some of his confreres to help him, and eventually they were able to open a Barnabite house in Novara. He died on October 6, 1615.

 

 October 6
 LIVIO MIGLIORINI
 Victim of World War I
 (1893-1918)

Livio was born in Lodi on November 30, 1893. He attended the public schools.  For two years he served in our St. Francis church and developed a desire to be a religious. He was admitted in our seminary in Cremona: “How happy I am now!” he wrote to his parents, “Behold I have reached the desire of my youthful years. Pray to the Lord that one day I may reach the very end of the journey I have just started.”

His novice master in Monza wrote: “Migliorini is a young man with the best qualities. By character he is good, flexible, cordial, obliging, very pious, very exact in his duties, full of enthusiasm for what is good. Above average, he has no pretenses, and is not worried about himself. He binds together a most delicate conscience and a most discreet serenity.” 

He professed the vows on October 12, 1911, and moved to Lodi for the study of philosophy, and then to St. Barnabas for theology. He wrote to his parents: “I do like my life as a student here in Milan, especially because I feel, more than in Lodi, to be a religious, both for the practice of the choir, as we daily sing the Divine Office, and for the kind of studies proper for priests.” But in 1915 he had to stop his studies to fulfill his military service. As World War I exploded, Livio had to move to the front line, participating in many battles. But his life as a Religious did not change. At every opportunity he attended the Mass and received Holy Communion. He would carry the Rosary around his neck and recite it everyday while holding on to it in the most dangerous situations. Not able to make his daily meditation, he would use frequent ejaculations elevating his mind to God, as well as reading the Gospel and the Imitation of Christ. He was admirable for his total abandonment into the hands God, trusting Divine Providence, keeping a marvelous serenity transpiring through his very face.

He loved dearly his confreres on the front more that those at home. To meet them or to correspond with them was a feast for him. So he tried any way possible to keep in touch with them, to find them, and to comfort them with his presence or through letters. And indeed how he rejoiced when they all got together for a meeting with the Superior General on April 17, 1917 in Udine, called by Fr. Semeria.

He lived in great poverty and totally submitted to his Superiors. When allowed to go home, his first visit was to his Superior. He was so attached to Religious Life that he wanted to keep with himself a copy of the Constitutions, even on the front. Lieutenant Migliorini excelled even as a soldier. Aware of his responsibility as an officer, he applied himself to the study of military science. On the battle field he never abandoned his post. Receiving the Military Cross, he asked that it be hanged by the painting of the Blessed Mother in the novitiate in Monza. Between the night of October 5 and 6, he was on patrol duty at the front line when he was spotted and wounded on his right leg. Unfortunately they could not stop the hemorrhage, even when they brought him to the camp hospital.  Assisted by the chaplain, Fr. Leone Morando, he expired on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7, 1918. He was 25 years old.

“After the year of novitiate in Monza,” he himself wrote, “when I could already be called a Barnabite, my mother confided with me: ‘Livio, now I thank the Lord for granting my prayer. Now you are a Barnabite. Well, you must know that in 1893, the year the Venerable Francis Xavier M. Bianchi was beatified, and you were born, during the celebrations for the Beatification in front of the image of the Blessed, I asked the Lord: Lord, give me also a Barnabite. So now you can see that he has answered my prayer. I have never told you this before, because I did not want in any way to force your will.’”

 

 October 7
 FATHER JOHN CRISOSTOMO FAVRE
 Apostle in Savoy
 (1741-1802)

Fr. Favre was born in Cogne (Savoy) on September 18, 1741, from Giovanni Antonio and Ma. Michele Gratton. He was baptized as Andrew Joseph. He attended the Barnabite school of St. Benign of Aosta. When he was 20 he had a big confrontation with his father who did not want to allow him to enter Religious Life, since he was an only son. Finally he obtained the permission and entered the novitiate in Bonneville, professing the vows on October 8, 1732, in the hands of the Superior Fr. Fulgenzio Thierrat. He finished his theological studies in Thonon and was ordained a priest in Contanine, celebrating his First Mass on September 27, 1765.

In 1768 he was assigned in Aosta, where he stayed for five years as a teacher and as a preacher. He also gave a retreat to the local clergy. In September 1774 he was called to teach theology in Thonon. He himself wrote: “I had to move without rest from the confessional to my room, and from my room to the confessional.” It is here that he started to dedicate himself with special passion to the preaching apostolate, especially preaching from the heart as the most effective system. This is why he threw into the fire all his written homilies. He was so convincing that easily he would draw tears from his audiences.

Like many of our Fathers assigned in the area, Fr. Favre dedicated himself to reach shepherds and farmers dispersed in the high mountains, especially during the severe winter months. Indeed he will be the last of the Barnabite missionaries working in those mountains, because in 1792, following the political movements of the time, the Barnabites were expelled from Thonon. During the twenty years he was in Thonon he directed a sodality of religious attached to our college. He often served as master of our professed students. In 1791 he was elected Superior of the Community; but out of humility he renounced the office.

Meantime the French Revolution was spreading and in 1792 reached also Thonon, dispersing all Religious. Fr. Favre was left all alone in the city to care for those souls, trying his best for three months. Then he moved to Aosta. But here too things were not peaceful. After a few months the Fathers had to abandon St. Benign because the King of Sardinia had declared the building a military hospital. The Fathers went as guests in private homes and in the Bishop’s palace. Fr. Favre continued to teach theology and to dedicate himself to the preaching apostolate. In 1794 while Father Favre was preaching in the Cathedral, the French troops invaded the city. The Fathers were able to escape and find refuge with the Canons Regular of St. Gillius. After eight days, the troops left, allowing them to return to Aosta, where Fr. Favre stayed for eight years.

In 1797 he had the joy to see the college of St. Benign given back to our Congregation, but in a pitiful condition. They had almost finished remodeling it when on November 19, 1800, the French invaded the city again, dispersing all Religious. Fr. Favre found refuge with his sister in Cogne, helping in the local parish.

He did not last too long. An epidemic hit the area, and the parish priest of Gressan was so sick he could not care for his people. Fr. Favre right away ran to help, but after a short while he himself became sick, and died in his paternal home on October 7, 1802, at the age of 61.

In some of the letters he left behind, he expresses his great joy in wearing the Religious habit as a sign of heavenly graces. As he experienced so many disorders in the world, he appreciated more than ever the grace of being called by God to Religious Life.

 

 October 8
 FATHER AUGUSTINE GALLICIO
 21st Superior General
 (1592-1681)

It was in Turin that Fr. Gallicio studied and came in contact with the Barnabites who had just established themselves in the parish of St. Dalmazzo. He was 19 when he entered the novitiate in Monza  and professed the vows in the hands of Fr. Mazenta on June 6, 1613. He did so well in his studies that in 1617, before becoming a priest, he was sent to Thonon, in Savoy, to teach Rhetoric.

 He was so admired for his virtues that he was also made Master of Novices, leading them first of all with his own example. About ten years later he was in Montargis at the St. Ludovic College. There he started his relationship with the Congregation of the Visitation and St. Frances de Chantal. He helped in the foundation of their monastery in the city, and then he was sent to Orleans by St. Frances to open there another monastery.

 In 1630 he passed to Paris to help in establishing our foundation of St. Eligius in the French Capital. The beginning of that community was very hard, to the point of experiencing even hunger; but Fr. Gallicio, who was the Superior, endured those hardships with a sense of joy and determination and encouraged the others with his example. Shortly after, they were able to open a novitiate and Fr. Gallicio was the first Master. It was 1631 when a pestilence afflicted the city and the Barnabite Community, led by the example of Fr. Gallicio, was indeed 

 The Archbishop, aware of his holiness, selected him as his confessor and used him in various tasks in the diocese, including a mission in Malta. There he met and became good friend with Bishop Fabio Ghigi, Legate of the Holy See. It is a friendship which will play a great role when Ghigi will become Pope Alexander VII, and Fr. Gallicio Superior General. In Paris he was often the Superior and for nine years also served as the Provincial Superior.outstanding in the service offered to all the victims.

 After Fr. Angel Rossi renounced his election, in the General Chapter of 1656, he was elected Superior General. It was a surprise because of the opposition by Spain at that time against anyone connected with France. He realized that even some Fathers were against him because he was coming from Paris, and they were trying to block his entry in Milan. He continued his Pastoral Visit in various houses, and in September 1658, he went to Rome, where he stayed until the following March. He had the opportunity to spend time with Alexander VII, dealing especially with the demolition of St. Paul alla Colonna, and the transfer of the General Curia from Milan to Rome.

 At the end of his visit to Tuscany, he reached Milan in the spring of 1659, for the General Chapter, where he was confirmed as Superior General. At the end of the Chapter his headaches started. If on one side the Fathers in Rome were complaining for the demolition of St. Paul alla Colonna, the Lombard members were complaining against what they called “the plot” to move the Curia to Rome. The following year the pope himself, Alexander VII was to issue a decree moving the Curia to Rome for a five years trial period, leaving two Assistants in Milan. In 1662 the General Chapter was held for the first time in Rome. At this Chapter the Bull of Alexander VII was promulgated establishing that the General Superior was going to definitely reside in Rome.

 The new Fr. General was Fr. Cuttica, while Fr. Gallicio became an Assistant and the Consultor of the Rites. Meantime he advocated with the Pope the Beatification of St. Alexander Sauli, and published his life. He remained in the office for nine years, and then finally, because of his age, he was left free to spend his last ten years as a simple religious. He passed away on October 8, 1681, at the age of 89.

 

 October 8
 CARDINAL JAMES MORIGIA
 Archbishop of Florence and Pavia
 (1633-1708)

Cardinal Morigia was from Milan, and attended the Arcimboldi school, distinguishing himself for his genius and virtue. At 18 he entered our Order and received the habit on July 21, 1652. At the end of the novitiate he professed the vows in the hands of Fr. Falconi, Superior General. He completed the theological studies in St. Barnabas and was ordained a priest in 1659. His first assignment was to teach philosophy at St. Alexander, where he distinguished himself also as a preacher. Indeed Fr. Morigia became a well-known and requested orator in Milan as well as in the surrounding cities.

He became also an expert diplomat as shown in the task entrusted to him by Fr. General Marchelli with Rauccio II, Duke of Parma. His fame as a diplomat also reached the ears of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III, who asked him to come to Florence and even made him his personal theologian as well as tutor of Ferdinand, the heir.

In 1674, after finishing the Lenten program in St. Paul of the Angelics, Father Morigia left Milan, relatives, friends, and admirers to move to Florence. For seven years he served the Grand Duke, keeping always a most warm relationship with his confreres in Florence and in Pisa. Indeed he was very instrumental in defending the Fathers in Pisa, when the authorities wanted to take the schools away from them: “1679. At the end of the first three years of the 

 In 1681 the Grand Duke convinced him to accept the nomination as Bishop of St. Miniato. Two years later, in 1683, Innocent X made him Archbishop of Florence. He visited the Diocese keeping always as companions some of our Fathers. Twice he held the Diocesan Synod.schools, since the Pisano Magistrate was conjuring against us to take them away from us, Fr. Morigia was able to obtain a decree from the Grand Duke confirming them to us.”

 On December 19, 1689, Innocent X named him a Cardinal with the title of St. Cecilia, so he gave his resignation in Florence and moved to Rome. We can only imagine the joy and the celebration of all the Barnabites for his nomination: the first Barnabite Cardinal!

 In Rome, as archpriest of the Liberian Basilica in St. Mary Major, he had the privilege of opening the Holy Door for the 1700 Jubilee Year.

 The following year Clement XI made him Bishop of Pavia, where he will be for eight years with great zeal. Although advanced in age he was asked to be Archbishop of Milan, but this time he refused.

 Finally at the age of 76, he went to heaven on October 8, 1708. “Cardinal Morigia,” Fr. Colombo wrote, “was a man of great wisdom and a great worker; anxious more than anything else for the salvation of souls. He was a very dignified person with a generous spirit. He had cultivated his intellect with the most excellent knowledge while in the tranquil shelter of the Congregation.”

 

 October 10
 BISHOP OTTAVIO DELLA ROVERE
 Bishop of Fossano
 (1606-1677)

 Fr. Della Revere had spent 46 years in the Congregation when, in his seventies, he was called to the Episcopate. He was born in Asti, in 1606. He entered our Congregation and professed his vows in Monza in 1629. While still a novice he was called upon to preach on the feast of the Assumption, proving his natural talent as an orator.

 He pursued his studies in St. Alexander in Milan. After his ordination he was assigned as a teacher of theology and as preacher in many of our churches and others. Most of the time he resided in Piedmont, specifically in St. Dalmazzo in Turin and St. Martin in Asti. A man of great faith, he fed his spirit with a deep piety, and daily penances.

It will be the Duke of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel II, to ask Clement X to nominate him, in June 1675, as Bishop of Fossano in recognition for his great devotion and tremendous apostolic zeal.

The history of the Diocese reads: “He was the eighth Bishop of Fossano... At the very time he was elected, he undertook the visit of the Diocese although advanced in age, in his seventies, showing in this way how much he cared to carry on his responsibilities. It showed his vigilance over the flock entrusted by Christ to his care and his care for the Decrees that were issued during the Visit. He had a special gift for music, which he cultivated for the benefit of the young with his own resources.... His life was irreproachable, and indeed very exemplary, but he was of great example especially in his death. As soon as he received an indisposition, to which he was usually subjected, rejecting the vain hopes of the doctors promising a long life because of the lightness of the indisposition, he prepared himself for death, although his entire life had been a preparation for death. He wanted and received the Holy Sacraments with a devotion which touched all those present. When the Viaticum was brought to him, he gave a sermon so full of fervor that it drew tears from those who were blessed to hear him. He died on October 10, 1677, 71 years old, and was buried on October 12, having governed this Church for only two years, three months, and eleven days.”

 

 October 10
 FATHER PHILIP PETRUCCI
31st Superior General
(1661-1728)

It was during the Generalate of Fr. Petrucci that the Congregation started to serve in the missions. He was born in Capranica in 1661 and was baptized as Dominic. When 24 he decided to enter religious life and received the habit on May 29, 1685 in the novitiate in Zagarolo, professing the vows on June 23 of the following year, taking the name Philip.

Since he had already completed his studies before entering the novitiate, he was assigned to teach Theology to our students in Rome. In 1664 he was transferred to St. Alexander in Milan to teach Philosophy and Theology, which later he did also in Macerata.

“After serving in many offices in the Roman Province,” he was made Procurator General. When the Superior General Idelfonso Manara was made a bishop, a laborious General Chapter on April 24, 1717 elected Fr. Petrucci to the supreme post of the Congregation. It was a decision of the Chapter to accept the Mission, so the new General applied all his energies to carry out the mandate.  After long and tortuous dealings with Propaganda Fide, finally, in 1721, five Barnabites sailed for China.

In the General Chapter of 1719, he was unanimously reelected. He tried to form various new foundations, but he was unsuccessful mostly because of external circumstances. During his term he gave various permissions never given before, e.g., he allowed Fr. Francis Santini to teach philosophy and astronomy at the University of Pavia, Fr. Bellegarde at the University of Turin, and allowed Fr. Castelli to be Rector of the Seminary of Carcira. He also pushed for the Beatification of St. Alexander Sauli.

In 1722, at the end of his term, he retired at St. Charles in Foligno till the end of his days. Fr. Ferdinand Bianchi wrote: “The past month the Rev. Fr. Philip Petrucci went to his hometown hoping the native air would give some relief to his serious conditions with which he was always afflicted. On October 10 he was in terrible pain, and, in the short span of a few hours, he had to give his soul to the Creator, assisted by his relatives and the local priest, his brother. “

 

October 11
 SAINT ALEXANDER SAULI
 6th Superior General - Bishop of Aleria and Pavia
 (1534-1592)
 

At the age of 17, in 1551, Alexander Sauli became a page at the court of the Emperor Charles V. His parents were Tommasina Spinola and Dominic Sauli, Marquis of Pozzuolo in the territory of Tortona. This social status was offering to Alexander a great opportunity for a prestigious and brilliant career. Instead, he knocked at the door of St. Barnabas for admission to the Congregation of the Barnabites.

Being so young in front of a so venerable an assembly, we can envision him boldly facing the demanding but qualifying examination about his motivation for such a request. The Fathers were facing some perplexities. He was too young and they didn’t know him well. He was good with words, but what about in life? What if this noble heir was plotting to become a Bishop? On Saturday, May 17, 1551, the Vigil of Pentecost, the Fathers asked the young Alexander to carry a large cross through the streets of Milan, dressed as an “Imperial Page,” and to preach in public about love for God and the renunciation of the world. He obediently carried out their request without hesitation. Returning to St. Barnabas, the Fathers immediately embraced him as one of them. He gave his sword to one of the servants to bring it back to his father and he was received as a postulant.

On August 15, 1551, he received the habit and started his three years novitiate. His master was Fr.  Paul Omodei, one of the very first Fathers of the Congregation who had been admitted by the Holy Founder himself. During the second year, the Master was changed as Fr. Omodei was elected Descreet. The new master, Fr. John Peter Besozzi, allowed him to follow regular theological studies. In April of the following year the Master was changed again as Fr. Besozzi became Superior General. The novices were entrusted to Fr. Jerome Marta. It was to him that Alexander presented the three petitions for the profession of the vows on August 3 and 9, and September 1, 1554. He professed his vows on September 29 in the hands of Fr. Besozzi.

Due to his young age he had to wait for a special dispensation for the priestly ordination, which took place on March 21, 1556, when he was 22. He celebrated his First Mass on April 12th, the Sunday after Easter, after a three week retreat. Meanwhile, he was asked to teach in the church about the letters of St. Paul.

Fr. Sauli was young and already had a curriculum of studies completed. As he was very familiar with the city and the University of Pavia, he was the first to be assigned there as a preacher, soon to be joined by Fr. Besozzi and Fr. Omodei, creating a most homogeneous and harmonious community.

At first Fr. Alexander did ordinary priestly functions like the other two confreres: celebration of the Mass, confessions; except, he also oversaw the gathering of the children for recreation and catechism. The University students attending the church were the ones to ask Fr. Sauli for help in their studies. He accepted, creating something of an independent department called the “academy.” On February 2, 1560, Fr. Sauli celebrated the opening of the “academy” with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Immediately he started weekly conferences on St. Paul and daily repetitions of the University subjects which were divided into the three groups of theology, philosophy (including medicine), and law.

He dedicated himself to the pastoral work with intuitions way ahead of his time. He favored frequent communion and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, founded schools for religious instructions, and offered lectures to the people on the Letters of St. Paul.

Seeing the success Fr. Sauli was having, the Fathers did not hesitate to open a house of studies for their own clerics, but open to others as well. Although Fr. Sauli had no official degree of any kind as yet, he had been offered a chair of philosophy at the University, but he was allowed only to be a substitute lecturer. His success convinced the Fathers to allow him to pursue an official degree. After his graduation on May 28, 1563, he became a member of the College of Professors of theology, and three years later he was named their dean. Meantime, in our house of studies, he concentrated in the preparation of a most complete curriculum of studies for our clerics.

Fr. Sauli’s fame was not limited to Pavia. In Milan, where he was going every year for the General Chapter, St. Charles entrusted him with the draft of the final document of the Diocesan Synod and other important tasks, almost as if he was his personal secretary.

In the General Chapter of 1569, he was elected Superior General, although he was only 33 years old. One of Fr. Alexander’s major concerns was regular life and the wisdom of internal rules. As a good Canon Lawyer, he made sure that all regulations would comply with the new Counciliar guidelines from Trent. In 1568 he called an extraordinary Chapter to deal with the Divine Office. The Chapter adopted the new Breviary keeping the “recto tono” recitation. Fr. Sauli made great contributions to the interior life of the Order. He wrote rules for the novices and gave guidelines for the curriculum of sacred and profane studies. This also included guidelines for preaching. Under his guidance and expertise, everything was working better than ever.

He was in charge of the Angelic Sisters in the Monastery of St. Paul, and of the “Submitted to the Crucified Lord,” to whom he was giving regular conferences, and, with whom he will keep regular correspondence even from Corsica.

In April 1569, the Bishop of Vicenza, through the recommendation of St. Charles, tried to convince the Fathers to return to his city for the reformation of the monasteries. Fr. Sauli answered: “Yes, on condition that the Serenissima (Venice) will revoke the ban of 1552.” Venice’s answer was that by now the whole thing had been forgotten, so that they were welcome back in the Republic. Fr. Sauli did not accept on those conditions, but in deference to the Bishop, he sent over Fr. Berna for few months.

Only on one occasion was it that St. Charles did not obtain his wish from him. He wanted to resolve once and for all the chronic poverty of the Barnabite Congregation, and to save the Order of the Humiliates, who were absolutely averse to any kind of reform. The Barnabites would have gained 94 rich houses and 150 new members, while their religious spirit would have finally brought the reform among the Humiliates. But Fr. Sauli was adamant in his refusal because the union would have been an endless source of internal fights. Since the Humiliates did not believe at all in the need for reform, they would have been almost twice as many as the Barnabites. Therefore uncontrollable, it would have caused the ruin of St. Barnabas’ good religious spirit. When the Friar Jerome Donati made the famous attempt on the life of St. Charles, the Pope suppressed the Order once and for all with a decree signed on February 8, 1571, when Fr. Sauli was already in Corsica.

His term as Superior General was a period of true renewal for the Order, a renewal which would be carried out fully by St. Charles. After the shock of 1552, everything was renewed: better structures, rekindling of the original fervor, the members were duplicated with much better quality, some of those who had left came back to St. Barnabas, the life on the inside was serene and orderly once again, and the apostolate expanded to new foundations. Therefore, we can understand the shock of the Barnabites at the announcement that Fr. Sauli was going to be a Bishop.

To prepare himself to follow God’s will, together with St. Charles, Fr. Sauli went to the Carthusian abbey in Carignano for a retreat. Writing to his father, he stated: “The effort I have endured here as Superior General seems to me like roses in comparison with what I am starting to experience as a Bishop.” His old father exhorted him to trust God.

The consecration took place in the Cathedral of Milan on March 12th. St. Charles provided all the Episcopal vestments. Meanwhile, Pius V had notified him to bring along to Aleria at least a dozen confreres to help him in his apostolate. But the Community could afford only four, three Priests and one Brother.

At the end of April, 1570, Bishop Sauli, his four confreres and a few servants landed in Corsica. The Island had not seen a Bishop in 70 years, falling in a most miserable physical, social, human, and Christian condition.

The first impact was very harsh because the Episcopal residence had been destroyed during the war. Most of all he realized that the spiritual reconstruction had to start from zero. He did not get discouraged, and we must not be scandalized by the conditions of the clergy. Seminaries did not exist yet and in Corsica there were no schools or Universities. Only a few priests could be educated in the main land, while the others were learning a little from those who knew a little more than them. Still faith was alive.

He established himself in precarious and humble dwellings, and started immediately the visitation of the whole diocese. By the end of August he was able to hold a Synod with 150 priests present to set up rules and regulations. The Synod became an annual event of three days. Albert Grozio, the Bishop’s secretary wrote: “He took advantage of these days to live heart to heart with his priests who were invited, if they wanted, to stay with him at his own expenses. He ate with them, talked with each one of them, and was generous in his charity. To instruct them he used to create cases of conscience, going over liturgical formulas, dogmatic or moral principles, counciliar and ecclesiastical documents. At the end of the Synod most of the priests had to face a most arduous trip back home, so he used to prepare for them and their laity abundant provisions, giving them horses, wine, and whatever could be useful for the trip.”

During his episcopacy he provided his clergy with various booklets of instructions including a simplified edition of the Roman catechism, so much praised by St. Francis de Sales.

In the following years he often changed residences to be able to have a good knowledge of his people. He founded a Seminary in Bastia and he dedicated himself to all, in spite of his sickness, like malaria and high fever, which few times brought him to the point of death.

The factional hates, the famines, and the droughts tested very hard St. Alexander’s charity; however, he excelled so much that he drew many to follow his example. Enemies never lack, even for those doing good. So there was one individual who made even an attempt to his life.

The Corsicans were transformed by him and they thought they would be able to keep him for life. When the news reached them that the Republic of Genoa wanted him to be the coadjutor of the archbishop with the right of succession, they mobilized themselves. With tears in their hearts they begged the Pope and the Republic to change their decision. The prayers were not in vain as the Saint was able to stay for another seven years to bring to completion his mission of charity and peace among the Corsicans. But in 1591 Gregory XIV named him Bishop of Pavia. The nomination gave great joy to the people of Pavia, but caused tears all over Corsica, tears which accompanied the shepherd to the boat taking him to Rome.

Before taking possession of his new diocese on October 19, 1591, he remained in Rome for two weeks and then spent some time in Genoa and at St. Barnabas in Milan. Before dismounting from the horse in front of the Cathedral, seeing the great pomp and ceremony prepared for him, he said to those close by him: “Vanity of earthly honors; in less than a year these festival pomps will change into mourning and tears.” Prophetic words!

The charity which had made him famous in Corsica became right away one of his outstanding virtues also in Pavia. A severe famine had made prices of vital items, like wheat, climb out of reach. On the first Sunday after his entry, he celebrated a solemn Pontifical Mass during which, in simple and clear words, he expressed his desire to be the father of the poor, ready to give them whatever he would receive. As a first sign of his commitment he ordered four noblemen, his helpers, to give out a purse with one hundred golden scuds. His action was so contagious to generate a chain reaction in generosity throughout that day, bringing the purse to a very sizeable amount.

Wanting to have a first hand knowledge of his diocese, he started right away a pastoral visit, planning to close it with a Synod; but, as he reached Colosso d’Asti, he got sick with fever and gout. Not wanting to disturb the local parish priest, he decided to accept the invitation by the Count Ercole Roero, one of his disciples and good friend, to lodge in his castle. After ten days, the Saint, well prepared and consoled by the presence of some Barnabites, died in the Lord. It was Sunday, October 11, 1592. It was only just a few days before he had said: “Don’t think that I am dying because of the efforts for this pastoral visit; but, be convinced that this is the hour fixed by God. If I should start all over what I have done, I would do it over again. For a pastor it is a duty to give his life for his flock. I thank God for allowing me to die serving His Church, in the midst of my apostolate.”

The body was brought to Pavia on October 14th, and the next day the solemn funeral took place. His universal fame as a Saint spread immediately and grew steadily. He was considered a Saint endowed with heroic virtues. The unanimous consensus and a great devotion, especially in Pavia, led to start the canonical process for the beatification. On April 23, 1741, Benedict XIV proclaimed him a Blessed, and on December 11, 1904, Pius X proclaimed a Saint.

 Liturgy for the memorial of

St. ALEXANDER SAULI, barnabite, bishop

OCTOBER 11

Alexander was born in Milan, in 1534, into a noble family from Genoa. When only seventeen, he entered the Barnabite Congregation, after showing great courage and humility by carrying a large cross through the streets of Milan. After his consecration to God, he was ordained a priest at the age of twenty two. He finished his theology at the University of Pavia, where he became a professor. Father Sauli was elected Superior General of the Congregation at the age of thirty three, and was appointed Bishop of Aleria (Corsica) three years later. His episcopal ministry lasted twenty two years. As a shepherd of souls he dedicated himself almost single-handedly to the religious renewal of clergy and laity in a large and difficult region, through preaching, catechesis, synods and pastoral visits. He placated vendettas and hatreds. He eradicated abuses and superstitions. But his greatest concern was for his favorites: the poor and the sick. Because of his heroic charity, especially during the time of famine and pestilence, he was called "the Guardian Angel and Apostle of Corsica." In 1591 Gregory XIV transferred him to the Diocese of Pavia. After only one year, St. Alexander Sauli died in Calosso d' Asti on October 11, 1592. He was beatified in 1741 by Benedict XIV and then canonized in 1904 by St. Pius X. St. Alexander Sauli is the patron of Barnabite seminarians.

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

Sir 50:1 This is the high priest, in whose time the house of God was renovated, in whose days the temple was reinforced. OR:

Jer 3:15 I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.
 
COLLECT 
O God, In the holy Bishop Alexander Sauli 
you have given to your Church a model of faithful religious observance and
of tireless pastoral dedication. 
Grant, we pray, that your people may always be led by worthy pastors. 
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.
 
FIRST READING - First Option

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah   Jeremiah 23:1-4
I myself will look after and tend my sheep 
 
Foe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD. Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.

I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply. I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD.

The word of the Lord.

FIRST READING -  Second Option

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 
Ezekiel 34:1-16 I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
 

Thus the word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep? You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured. You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered and wandered over all the mountains and high hills; my sheep were scattered over the whole earth, with no one to look after them or to search for them. Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have been given over to pillage, and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast, for lack of a shepherd; because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep; because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD: I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep, that they may no longer be food for their mouths. For thus says the Lord GOD: ‚I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places. In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.

The word of the Lord.

 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm 89: 20b-22, 23-24, 25

R/. God is marvelous in his Saints.
 
I have set a leader over the warriors; 
I have raised up a hero from the army. 
I have chosen David, my servant; with my holy oil 
I have anointed him. My hand will be with him; my arm will make him strong.
 
R/. God is marvelous in his Saints. 
 
No enemy shall outwit him, 
nor shall the wicked defeat him. 
I will crush his foes before him, 
strike down those who hate him.
 
R/. God is marvelous in his Saints. 
 
My loyalty and love will be with him; 
through my name his horn will be exalted
 
 R/. God is marvelous in his Saints.
 

ALLELUIA

Luke 4:18

R/. Alleluia, alleluia. 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. 

 R/ Alleluia, alleluia

GOSPEL - First Option

 A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 4:14-19)
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. 
 
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL -  Second Option

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke  (Luke 10:1-9)
I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
 
The Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'
PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS
 
 Lord, accept the gifts we bring to your holy altar 
on this feast of Saint Alexander Sauli. 
May the power of your Spirit sanctify 
what we humbly offer. 
Through Christ our Lord.
 
PREFACE
 
Priest: The Lord be with you. 
People: And with your spirit. 
Priest: Lift up your hearts. 
People: We lift them up to the Lord. 
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 
People: It is right and just. 
 
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, 
always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, 
almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord. 
You give the Church this feast in honor of Saint Alexander Sauli;
you inspire us by his holy life, instruct us by his preaching, and 
give us your protection in answer to his prayers. 
We join the Angels and the Saints as they sing their unending hymn of praise: 
 
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. 
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. 
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. 
Hosanna in the highest.
 

COMMUNION ANTIPHON

Jn 10:11 I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

 PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION 

Lord, all-powerful God, 
by the Eucharist we share at your holy table 
keep alive in us the ardor of charity. 
Following the example of Saint Alexander Sauli 
who gave himself totally to you may our lives 
be totally dedicated to your service. 
Through Christ our Lord
 
 
October 11
 BISHOP PETER ANTHONY PIETRASANTA
Bishop of Martorana
 (1657-1727)

Bishop Petrasanta, born in Milan in 1657, remained an orphan of both parents as a child, and so he became very attached to his educators in the Arcimboldi School. When 15 he entered our novitiate in Monza, received the habit on September 25, 1572, and professed his vows the following year on the feast of St. Michael.

After his ordination he was a teacher in St. Alexander, Superior in Canai, Procurator in St. Alexander, and in 1704 he was made administrator of all the possessions of the Congregation in the Duchy of Milan.

In 1713, Clement XI decided to make him the Bishop of Martorana (Cosenza), in the South of Italy.  Because of some controversies in the Kingdom of Naples about election of Bishops, he had to wait for his consecration until March 14, 1718. Finally he was able to take over his diocese and he brought along the Barnabite theologian, Fr. Gabriel Polastri.

Unfortunately the rough life in that diocese was too much for his delicate health, so some friends were trying to have him moved to the Diocese of Lodi, which at that time was vacant, but the plans did not go through. Instead, with the permission of the Pope, Bishop Pietrasanta retired in Naples as a member of the St. Carlo alle Mortelle Community. He died there on October 11, 1727, at the age of 70.

 

 October 11
 FATHER SILVIO VAINI
 40th Superior General
 (1712-1764)

 Fr. Vaini, from Casalmaggiore, professed his vows on October 20, 1729. He taught Rhetoric in Lodi and Milan with great elegance and eloquence, and cared for the people with good preaching.

 In 1752, while in St. Barnabas, he was spiritual director of the Angelics, and from 1755 to 58, master of novices and Superior in Monza.

 For six years he was Provincial Superior of Lombardy, but when the Superior General, Fr. Manzador, was made Bishop, Fr. Vaini was called upon to take his place in the General Chapter of 1764.

 Unfortunately he lasted only four months. A victim of a violent fever, he died on October 11, 1764.

 

October 12
 FATHER FRANCIS SALESIO FRACASSETTI
Man of deep faith and piety
(1855-1937)

Fr. Fracassetti was born in Lendinara, on January 27, 1855, son of Dominic, a doctor, and Augusta Miotto, a strong lady who dedicated her life to the education of her seven children. He attended the local public schools. Then his father sent him to Padua at first, but, in November 1869, to the “San Luigi” Barnabite boarding school in Bologna. The sudden death of one of his classmates prompted the young Francis to dedicate his own life to the Lord. His parents tried to oppose his decision; however, finally in the September of 1872, accompanied by the Superior General, Fr. Joseph Albini, he moved to Rome to enter our Congregation.

On October 14th he received the Barnabite habit and started his novitiate in St. Carlo ai Catinari, with Fr. Alexander Baravelli as his master. The following year on October 5, 1873, he professed his simple vows. Because of the suppression of Religious Orders in Rome, all our students were moved to St. Dalmazzo in Turin to study theology. Later he was sent to the “San Luigi” in Bologna to help the Vice-Rector and to teach. In the meantime his brother Paul offered to take his place for the military service. In this way he was able to make his solemn profession on October 6, 1877, in St. Barnabas, Milan. Returning back to Bologna, he was ordained a priest on December 22, 1877.

Fr. Fracassetti continued his teaching apostolate and in 1879 had to assume also the duties as Vice-rector of the boarding school. He will toil tirelessly in his mission as an educator for ten years when he will have to stop because of tuberculosis of the bone. His health deteriorated. He was constantly in the hands of doctors who in the spring of 1888 decided to amputate his left foot, hoping to stop the illness. Indeed it was a miraculous recovery and full healing. I was not easy for him to get used to the artificial limb throughout his remaining life.

He was able to resume his teaching apostolate (Religion at first, then Mathematics and Natural Sciences). With the years his sense of joviality, together with the virtues of patience and charity, flourished. As his health improved he dedicated himself also to the confessional. In 1904 he became Rector of the school; nevertheless, he did not give up his apostolate. By the sacristy there was a little room where his penitents and clients could find him all the time, and their number was increasing day by day. For many of them he became Divine Providence at work, sometimes depriving himself of his own personal clothes, moved by deep charity. To those who used to tell him to take care of himself, he used to say: “I have to be grateful to God who has given me a roof and food, while these poor people have nothing… I could be like them.” Many were the cases when his word, his prayer, his blessing brought consolation, conversion and salvation of souls, and consolation to entire families when in difficult situations, like young people gone astray, broken marriages, and lost souls. Any hour for him was good, even in the middle of the night, to reach people in need. At midnight he used to stand from his task, hold the crucifix and bless all the people he cared for: the school, the confreres, his young people, his penitents and clients, the city…the world.

Fr. Fracassetti was Rector during the years 1904-1912. It was during these years that the Catholic schools were facing a harsh opposition by the Masonic government. He used to whisper: “My poor college!” He directed the Institute with skill and dedication, especially worried about the spiritual upbringing of the students.

In 1912 he was exonerated from his position as Rector so he could dedicate himself full time to spiritual direction. But because of the World War I, in 1916, he was called upon to take over again the duties as Rector. They were horrible years for his heart as a priest and as an Italian: anxieties, pains, deaths caused by the war, invasions, ruins, and refugees deprived of the most basic human needs. Finally the war ended in November 1918, bringing some solace to his anguished heart.

Where did he find the energy and stamina to carry all his responsibilities? Only in prayer: “Pray! Pray without getting tired,” he used to say, “It is not enough to be like the good Martha always busy, we must also be like the good Mary of whom the Divine Master said to have chosen the best part.”

The charity of Fr. Fracassetti gave rise to three institutions in the city:

1)   Little Refuge: Many were the girls coming to the city in search for work and so exposed to all dangers. Fr. Fracassetti wanted to offer a safe refuge until they would find safe work. So he opened the “Piccola casa di refugio” entrusted to the Sisters of the Poor of St. Catherine of Siena, with the archbishop of Bologna as its protector and patron. Eventually the institute was adsorbed by the national institute for the protection of the young woman.

2)   Family House: The purpose was to offer to some ladies a house and family atmosphere, taking them away from solitude, despair, and hardships. The house itself was provided when the Lady Gaetana Borelli Germini left her palace and heredity to the institute, becoming the Germini Retreat, which is still flourishing today.

3)      House of work for blind women: Through the intervention of a blind doctor, Gaetano Petrocini, and his wife, the idea came to provide a house where blind girls coming out of the college, and those adult women who were without a family or a preparation for work, would find not only shelter but especially an opportunity to be trained in various fields of work. The institute was blessed by Cardinal Nasalli Rocca and officially inaugurated by the Prefect of the city on July 5, 1928.

Although so busy with his many duties and responsibilities, the Congregation itself asked him to serve from 1910 through 1919 as General Visitor for the Roman Province, and from 1925 to 1928 as Provincial Superior.

On January 29, 1928, at the celebration of his golden jubilee as a priest, with the participation of many of his alumni led by the Rector of the Bologna University, Senator Niccolini, in his address, said: “Allow me to embrace you for the great good you have done through your example and the work to benefit your companions, to benefit all the young people entrusted to your loving care, to the benefit of the Order, of Religion, and of those Pious Institutes your goodness has inspired to your mind and to your heart.” Father, in all humility answered: “All this acknowledgements are not for my poor person, but for my Order and for Religion.”

Rich in merits, loaded with work, he was reaching his end, well esteemed, loved and venerated by all in the city of Bologna, he died on October 12, 1932.

 

October 12
 FATHER ERMINIO RONDINI
 Founder of the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart
 (1895-1943)

Fr. Rondini was born in Perugia in 1895, in the shadow of the Gesù church, which was and is served by the Barnabites. He frequented the church as an altar boy and the Barnabite School for his education. This led him to love the life of those Priests as preachers, confessors, teachers and collaborators of the parish priests in various villages.

In 1911 Erminio obtained from his parents the permission to have an experience of the Barnabite life, and eventually went to Monza for the novitiate. He professed the vows in 1913, and moved to Lodi for the classical studies. He completed his first three years of studies when the First World War broke out and so the young cleric Erminio was drafted for military service.

In 1915, after a few months of training in Naples, he was sent to the front line. For two years Rondini became the animator of his platoon. The bloody experience of the front line will impress in his soul a special love and understanding of those in pain: the sick, the orphans, the widows, the prisoners, old and young, poor and rich. This led him to live a life for others.

In 1918, at the end of the war, he returned to his studies and went to Rome for theology. In 1920 he made his solemn profession and was ordained a priest in 1922. The apostolic fields were now open to him.

 After spending a few days with his family in Perugia, Fr. Rondini moved to Arpino at the Barnabite minor seminary as vice-rector and spiritual director. In 1926 he was assigned to Naples so that he could attend the University while teaching religion in the Bianchi institute and guiding the boarding male students in their spiritual life. In 1928, he was asked to move to Bologna with the same responsibilities. Right away he was able to graduate from the University and so become professor of Latin and Greek in our San Luigi school. His day was filled with classes in the morning, preaching and direction in the afternoon followed by confessions, and in the evening he could be found preparing his classes for the following day.

From 1932 to 1934 we find him in Trani. This is going to be his most dense and fruitful period for his work and his apostolate. Together with Mo. Anna Ventura he founded the congregation of the Sisters Little Workers of the Sacred Heart dedicated to works of mercy, education, assistance to the needy, the sick, the old, and to the Christianization of female fashion. He came up with the idea and brought to reality the first inter-diocesan Marian congress in Puglia. He was the animator and promoter of the center for the apostleship of prayer and for vocations. The amount of work was enormous and more than demanding, but obedience came to test his religious life.

In November 1938, Fr. Rondini was asked to go to Milan for the celebrations of the fourth Centennial of the death of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria. The body of the Holy Founder was to visit every Barnabite house in Lombardy. Two preachers were needed to follow the pilgrimage and to preach in the cathedrals and humble chapels to both people of culture and peasants. The two preachers were Fr. Rondini and Fr. Confalonieri. The pilgrimage will last the whole year of 1939. At each visit along the year the two preachers delivered superb sermons.

Fr. Rondini finally wanted to return to Trani, but again obedience had other plans. Toward the end of 1939, the Albergati college in Porretta Terme (Bologna) was entrusted to the Barnabites. Fr. Rondini was selected as its first rector-superior. With tremendous enthusiasm he gave himself to the new task to be interrupted again by another World War. The boys, away from the city and the bombing, are now his children, with others coming day by day from the surrounding areas. He was to organize for all of them some kind of school, study, and recreation in the midst of the hardships caused by the war. Fr. Rondini found also the time and energy to go out to the surrounding villages to help the local parish priests in his apostolic ministry.

But all this will not last too long. In 1942 Father was discovered to be inflected with tuberculosis, perhaps developing since the first World War. In 1943 the doctors sent him to the sanatorium in Pavullo (Modena). The Little Workers, with their Mother General, ran to take care of him. They were thinking to move him to Andria into one of their houses well equipped for his needs. Fr. Rondini, however, demanded the written permission from his superiors. Finally they left by train, but the war operation stoppeds them in Ortona. In Lanciano, assisted by Mo. Anna and a co-sister, they were welcomed by his friend professor Milano. But it was the end. During the night of October 12, 1943, Fr. Rondini returned to the Lord. His last pilgrimage was over.

He was buried in Lanciano, but on March 8, 1986, his body was transferred to Trani, waiting to be located together with the one of Mo. Anna, in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Little Workers.

 

October 13
 BISHOP ISHDRO PENTORIO
 Bishop of Asti
 (1571-1621)

 Bishop Pentorio was born in Milan, in 1571. He entered our Congregation at a very young age and received the habit on June 30, 1587. After his studies in Pavia, he was ordained a priest in June, 1590 and assigned to the preaching apostolate in Rome, Pisa, Novara, and Vercelli.

In 1602, he became Superior in Vercelli. Shortly after Fr. Adorno died in Asti, Fr. Pentorio was sent to take his place, and became the private counselor of the Duke, Charles Emmanuel I. He had the pleasure to see, in 1609, the foundation of St. Dalmazzo becoming a reality in the midst of the most pompous ceremonies organized by the Duke. In 1613 he was asked to accompany the Prince Vittorio Amedeo to Madrid for a diplomatic mission. The Duke, grateful for the positive results, granted him the Great Cross and made him the Great Prior of the Order of Sts. Maurice and Lazarus, and then proposed him as Bishop of Asti.

The consecration took place on February 18, 1618. Bishop Pentorio worked tirelessly for the spiritual welfare of his flock, visiting the whole diocese. Fr Spinola wrote: “Fr. Pentorio... after a very honorable activity in the Congregation resplendent with his annual Lenten preaching having been made Superior, finally was elected Provincial Superior of Piedmont; in these offices he was very edifying. Among his virtues we have to add his fast with water and bread on the vigils of the Blessed Virgin. He used to do this in a most hidden way possible. At midnight he used to get up to go to church, bare foot, to discipline himself in front of the altar of the Blessed Lady. I have seen this myself. And I have heard about it many times. He had a most affable and sweet character with all persons and especially with his subjects. He shined not only in our Congregation but also at the Savoy Court, as he was deeply loved by Duke Charles Emmanuel.... Finally he exalted him making Bishop of Asti, where he finished his days giving a rare example to all in the exercise of his pastoral office.”

He passed away to receive the eternal reward on October 13, 1621, at he age of 50.

 

 October 14
 BISHOP FRANCIS GATTINARA
 Bishop of Alessandria and Archbishop of Turin
 (1658-1743)

Bishop Gattinara was born in Pavia, in 1658, and professed the vows as a Barnabite on January 8, 1675. A Religious, Bishop, and Archbishop, his only passion was for souls. After his ordination, for 25 years he dedicated himself to the preaching apostolate, reaching out even to the Island of Malta. In 1701 his homilies in St. Petronio, Bologna, were such a hit that it was decided to publish them, with the signature of the most famous poets of the time.

His zeal, the profound and vast doctrine, and his skill in so many situations had gained him a high reputation even in Rome, and so it was not a surprise when Clement XI elected him Bishop of Alessandria. He was consecrated in St. Carlo ai Catinari on January 13, 1707.

As he took over the diocese he applied there too the same zeal and profound knowledge for the spiritual welfare of his flock. His twenty years as a Bishop manifest the soul of a true apostle and shepherd, always concerned and ready to give himself for the good of his people even when the city suffered military sieges or illnesses struck the animals in the farms. With special care he followed the formation of his clergy. He opened a seminary enriching it with many illustrious teachers and scholars, making sure that regular retreats were taking place. Two years after his entry he introduced the Ursuline Sisters to care for the young girls.

One of the most illustrious episodes of his life was the encounter in 1720 with St. Paul of the Cross, the Founder of the Passionists. He became his spiritual director, and on November 22nd gave him the Passionist habit (at first he had him wear his own Barnabite habit). Bishop Gattinara guided him in the writing of the Rule for the Passionists and in the process for its approval from Rome. On November 21, 1721, the bishop had the joy of giving the Passionist habit also to Paul’s brother, Giambattista. He will be the one, as bishop of Turin to grant in 1727, the dimissorial letters for the priestly ordination of both of them.

In 1727, with his great surprise, by the request of the Duke Vittorio Emmauel II, Benedict XIII made him Archbishop of Turin. The first thing which he planned and carried out was a visit to the whole Diocese, which he concluded with a Synod. As in Alessandria, he cared for his clergy here too by providing the best in the Seminary, especially for regular retreats.

His great generosity and assistance to the people even in tragic moments like, the famine of 1736, established a most wonderful loving relationship between him and his people. His greatest trial came in 1743, when voices of war and pestilence were going around, and he was already 85 years old. On September 22 he climbed the pulpit in the Cathedral and with his old oratorical skill inflamed the hearts of his flock, and he offered his life to the Lord to spare his people from those calamities. The Lord heard his call. He returned to his quarters for the last time. On October 8, Charles Emmanuel III returned to Turin victorious over the French troops, and the danger of the pestilence vanished. On the 14th of the same month Bishop Gattinara gave his life to the Lord.

 

October 16
 FATHER INNOCENT CHIESA
 Preacher, confessor, and a scholar
 (1567-1637)

Fr. Chiesa was born in Milan on January 27, 1567, the son of Celidonio and Paola Giussani. As he became on orphan of both parents in early age, St. Charles Borromeo, a friend of the family, took him under his care, and so he was able to attend the University of Pavia to obtain a degree in civil and canon Law. While in Pavia he experienced a religious crisis, and he found proper guidance from our Fathers at St. Mary’s in Canepanova. After a long reflection, at the age of 25, he decided to enter Religious Life.

Accepted on February 15, 1592, he went to Monza for the novitiate, where he professed the vows on May 23, 1593. At first he went to Pavia for the theological studies, but then, because of his health, he moved to St. Barnabas in Milan where he was ordained a priest on February 14, 1598. While Fr. Chiesa was attending to further studies, Bishop Bascapè approached the Superior General to have some Barnabites in Novara. On April 2, 1599 the decision was taken to send Fr. Innocent Chiesa as Superior, together with Fr. Gaudenzio Graziosi to join Fr. John Ballarino, who was already there. In 1608 the General Chapter divided the Congregation in three Provinces, and Fr. Chiesa was called to be the Provincial Superior for the Roman Province, composed of seven houses from Perugia to Naples. He moved to St. Paul alla Colonna in Rome as Superior. The Acts talk of a wise administration, openness to new initiatives, preoccupation for regular discipline, and for the studies. He was appreciated and valued for his vast culture and scholarly preparation.

He drafted rules for the studies, guidelines for the colleges, secretariats, manuals for the teaching of classical languages, and he gave of his time for the spiritual direction of novices, Barnabite students, and lay people.

His reputation was such that he was elected promoter for the 1614 General Chapter, twice he was chancellor of the Chapter, and twice he was called upon to give the speech for the good election of the Superior General. In 1614 he became Assistant General, and in 1617 the Superior of St. Alexander. During this time he also became the spiritual director of the Institute of the “Slaves of Mary.” Approved by Cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1621, Fr. Chiesa helped in the composition of their rules.

From Milan, in 1620, he went back to Novara, and in the Chapter of 1623 he was elected Visitor General. It is during this time that he received the task to write the life of bishop Bascapè. In the 1626 Chapter he was elected Provincial Superior of Lombardy, and he had the privilege of giving the habit to two saints, the Venerable Michelangelo Pane, and the Venerable Bartholomew Canale. In 1629, at the age of 62, he begged the Superiors to leave him free from any office so he could attend to his studies and the apostolate; however, one year later the Superior of St. Barnabas, Fr. Christopher Croce, died, and he was called upon to take his place. Only a few months later we are in the year of the pestilence of 1630. At that time the Assistant General Matthias Guarguanti died, so again Fr. Chiesa was called upon to take his place. Finally, almost deaf and blind, in 1632, he was able to retire in St. Barnabas taking care of his writings, but always available for the confessional.

Let us now take a look at his personality. In his short biography Fr. Chiesa does not know how to thank the Lord for protecting him from so many difficulties in his life. Twice he was seriously sick, at the ages of 49 and 63, and he was healed through the intercession of the Blessed Alexander Sauli. In Novara, while walking in the house, one of the boards of the floor gave way opening a huge hole under him. He immediately invoked the Blessed Mother, and miraculously he found himself hanging from a small beam. At that very moment his sister Emilia Frances, a nun in St. Bernardino Monastery, became very worried and exclaimed: “O Blessed Mother, help my brother who is in danger of life!”

Fr. Chiesa was also used by the Lord for marvelous events. In Rome he became a friend with the Venerable Angelina. In a vision the Lord told her who was going to be her confessor and spiritual director, Fr. Chiesa. In Milan he was in contact with another Venerable, Veronica Calcaterra, foundress of a college for virgins, called the “Slaves of Mary,” who were entrusted to Fr. Chiesa by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. They considered him as their founder.

Many were Fr. Chiesa’s publications. Just as many are his manuscripts. He was a lover of the Hebrew language, and composed, together with Fr. Tommaso Gallo, a guide for the right teaching of the classical languages. He prepared the argumentations for the cause of beatification of St. Alexander Sauli to the praise of the Judges of the Sacra Rota. Fr. Maggiani concludes: “Fr. Chiesa was a man of great virtue, study and piety; a man worthy of all praise not only for saving the memory of illustrious personalities of our Congregation, but also for expressing it in his own life through a virtuous imitation.” He wrote the life of the Founders, of St. Alexander, and the life of Bishop Bascapè, which is used today for his process of canonization.

He spent his last years in St. Barnabas, absorbed in his studies, but always available for the confessional. Toward the end he became blind, so he dedicated himself to compose popular songs and sacred poetries. The sweetness of his manners together with his scholarly word, were captivating his confreres knowing how to infuse joviality in them. At 70 years of age, he became the victim of a high fever, having received all the Sacraments with great devotion. It was October 16, 1637.

 

 October 17
 FATHER JOHN PHILIP LEONARDI
 Master of the spirit
 (1783-1847)

 Fr. Leonardi was born in Milan, on October 14, 1783. He attended the school of St. Alexander, and then he entered the diocesan Major Seminary for the theological studies, which he had to finish in private because of his ill health. In 1808 he was ordained a priest, and eventually was made pastor of the parish in Vignale. He would stay there for 17 years, completely dedicated to serve his people with devotion, zeal, and charity.

When he was 43 years old, he decided to become a Religious. Actually he would have done it before, but with the suppression of the Religious Orders, he had no choice. As soon as the Barnabites were reinstalled in Milan, he presented himself to St. Barnabas for admittance. He was sent by Divine Providence to the small group of Barnabites who were trying to rebuild the Province.

He received the habit on November 21, 1825, and after the novitiate in St. Barnabas, he professed the vows on November 22, 1826. He was assigned to Monza to work with Fr. Mauro in reopening the novitiate, and when Fr. Mauro died in 1831, he became Superior and Master, a position he held for 15 years.

His ascetical life, his sweetness, his discipline, and regular observance were a captivating example not only in the monastery but also among the people in the whole city. Among his greatest accomplishments was the care and flourishing of the oratorio for girls established by Fr. Redolfi; and the establishment of the Canossian Sisters under the direction of the Ven. Canossa.

After so many years in Monza, he was transferred to Lodi as spiritual director of the college and confessor in the church. He dedicated himself to the new assignment with the same enthusiasm, but he did not last too long. In the summer he went to Milan to be operated upon for two cysts. Following the operation he had his retreat in Milan. Suddenly, on October 17, 1847, he gave his soul to the Lord. He was 64 years old.

 

 October 18
 FATHER PAUL RICORDATI
 Co-founder the Annunciation Congregation
 (1547-1623)

Fr. Ricordati was a worker of the last hour in our Congregation, but of the first in the Church. Born in Buggiano in 1547, he became a merchant and later dedicated himself also to studies at the University of Pisa, becoming a Lawyer. Eventually he established his law-office in Pescia. In his free time he would dedicate himself to works or mercy and charitable activities. A special group of devotees used to get together for spiritual reading and for discipline right in his house. Unfortunately a negative report about these spiritual activities reached the Bishop’sears causing him to issue an order to stop them. Mr. Ricordati obeyed without hesitation but continued to visit his friends to support each other with prayer. His zeal and piety intensified, leading him to seek the Priesthood. He was ordained by the Bishop of Lucca, where he stayed for a while in holy retreat, before returning to Pescia for the celebration of his First Mass on November 1, 1588.

Almost right away he obtained from the Bishop of Pescia the faculty to hear confessions, at first in the church of St. Stephen, and then in the newly built church of the Annunciation. The number of penitents grew steadily attracted by his holiness, wisdom, and patience. Often he was hit by various accusations. He never reacted but responded with a spirit of humility and obedience to the lawful authority. He attracted many enemies because of his skill as a lawyer. Thus he had the ability to defend and guide properly the victims of injustice in favor of the truth 

The same year of his ordination Fr. Ricordati joined Fr. Pagni to live in Community. When the church of the Annunciation was built, a residence for a pious association was provided. They kept themselves under the spiritual direction of the Blessed Leonardi with a constant desire to join the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God, founded by him. The union never happened because it was opposed by the political powers of the time. Eventually they came in contact with our Congregation once we established ourselves in Tuscany, and the union with us became a reality. The official document was signed on October 6, 1623 in the Bishop’s palace in Pescia. The eleven members received the habit and started their novitiate on October 11, right in Pescia.

By then, Fr. Ricordati was already 76 years old. Unfortunately, shortly after he became sick, and he asked for the Sacraments. He expressed his regret that he had to die without professing his vows, but Fr. Provincial assured him that he was to be treated as a professed member of the Congregation, and indeed he was able to profess the vows two days before his death, which happened on October 18, 1623. During those days he spoke of nothing else but of spiritual things, and the graces received from the Lord, expressing his deep joy in dying as a Barnabite.

 

October 21
 FATHER THOMAS GALLO
 First Dean of studies
 (1570-1622)

Born in Milan in 1570, Fr. Gallo dedicated himself to a variety of studies. While at the Brera school of physics, he asked to enter our Congregation. Actually he was already in minor orders. He received the habit on October 5, 1591. 

He finished his studies in Pavia, and was ordained a priest in 1597. Right away he was put in charge of the school of philosophy, a position he would hold for eleven years. On April 24, 1610 he was elected Superior of St. Alexander in Milan, but two years later he was back in Pavia as Superior. He was busy with his teaching activity and the running of the community which comprised more than fifty religious. On Sundays, after Vespers, he would hold regular Scripture conferences.

In 1615 he was moved to Bologna as Rector of the Penitentiary, and three years later, in 1618, in Cremona, where he will end his days.

In 1619 the General Chapter entrusted to him the task to draft the Rules for the Dean of studies, which later was published. The Acts of the house read: “Fr. Thomas Gallo, Milanese, was a scholar; taught for many years Theology in this college, and was also the Superior for five years, governing with great and exemplary rectitude. He died here as Superior on October 21, 1622, at the age of 51.”

 

October 22
 FATHER GUGLIELMO GRAMOISY
 Great preacher in Savoy
 (1573-1617)

Fr. Cramoisy, born in Paris, in 1573, was a cleric studying in Rome, when he knocked at the door of the Barnabites in St. Blaise all’Anello. Fr. Caimi accepted him and sent him to Monza for the novitiate, where he received the habit on June 10, 1597. He did his studies in Milan, Pavia, and Cremona, where he was ordained a priest in 1604.

His first assignment was in the newly established foundation in Lodi. He stayed there for eight years as Procurator and chancellor of the community. When in 1614 St. Francis de Sales was able to bring the Barnabites in Annecy, Fr. Cramoisy was one of the members of that community. His major task was to be a very busy preacher. Giving clear instructions, simple homilies, and catechism lessons to the children were his constant activities. He was a most sweet confessor, but at the same time very stern when needed, and he was able to lead back to the Lord many souls.

He was a man of deep prayer and large charity especially toward the sick at home or in the hospitals. Often he would visit the jails to administer the Sacraments as well.

In 1617 he went, on foot, on a pilgrimage to St. Claud in Besanzone for his health, but the Lord had a different plan. At the end of the Mass at the altar of the Saint, he was hit by a high fever. On October 14th he was back to Annecy and his situation became critical. He asked for all the Sacraments and on October 22nd he passed away at the age of 44.

 

 October 23
 FATHER THOMAS FRANCIS ROTARIO (Della Revere)
 30th Superior General
 (1660-1748)

 Fr. Rotario was born in Asti, in 1660. He attended the local Barnabite school, and, when 15, on the occasion of the Jubilee, he went to Rome on a pilgrimage and decided to enter our Congregation. His mother, a widow, was not too happy about his decision. During his novitiate in Zagarolo, his older brother died, increasing the family pressure not to be a Religious, but on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, 1676, he professed his vows.

He studied philosophy in Macerata and theology in Rome where he was ordained a priest in 1682. Right away he was involved in the teaching apostolate; first in Naples, then in Macerata, Pavia, Cremona, Bologna, and Rome. During this time he wrote the booklet “Apparatum theologiae Moralis” for the Clergy, which saw many editions.

In 1704 he was elected Rector of the Penitentiary in Bologna, where he published another booklet for the Clerics in preparation to the orders. Next he was elected Superior of St. Charles in Rome, and that led to his election as Superior General in the chapter of 1710.

For six years he guided the Congregation with great prudence and constancy. First of all he made a visit to all the houses, including Savoy and France, to have a first hand feeling of the pulse of the Congregation. Wherever he went he received the greatest welcome, not only by the Communities, but also by the local government, recognizing in him a man with a great spirit and wisdom.

He reached a very old age in perfect health. During his last days he received all the Sacraments. He died on October 23, 1748, at the age of 89.

 

 October 25
 FATHER MARCELLO CORTENOVIS
 Missionary in Burma
 (1731-1798) 

Fr. Marcello was the fourth of six Cortenovis brothers who became Barnabites. He professed his vows in 1750. At the end of his studies he was assigned as a teacher in Bologna with a special interest in Natural Sciences.

In 1767 he became seriously ill almost to the point of death: “I recognize in this illness the great fruitfulness of the Lord’s mercy,” he wrote, “Now I do not long for any place, I am in peace, and I would be happy for any misfortune.” Indeed, it was during this illness that his missionary vocation was born.

Three years later his request was granted and together with Fr. Gaetano Mantegazza, he was sent to the mission in Burma. After a long and perilous journey they reached Pegù in 1772. Bishop Percoto assigned him to Monlà. During his first years he had to endure many illnesses, and especially very strong scruples, tempting him to return to Italy.

Because of his knowledge and love for Natural Sciences he was able to collect plenty of information on the local natural history and geography. There were also many requests from Europe for such information. We still have two collections of his studies.

After a few years in Monlà, he spent five years in Rangoon, then in Nebeck as director of the seminary for natives. At the arrival of Fr. Sangermano and Fr. D’Amato, he returned to Rangoon, where he would stay until his death, running the parish church of the Assumption and the local orphanage. The orphanage was home not only to orphan girls but also to women who loved to have a devout life of recollection following a rule similar to the one of the Angelics given to them by Fr. Cortenovis.

Twice he adventured himself on a long perilous journey to visit the Christian Communities of Burma and his confreres. In 1786 he made a journey also in China in the province of Junan. This journey was to keep a good relationship with the French missionaries in that area, and teach them the shortest route from China to Ava.

For thirty years he worked tirelessly in this mission. In his free time he studied the Burmese language. Of his studies we have two large volumes with historical, geographical, botanic, and zoological information. 

Shortly before his death, he wrote to one of his brothers: “I continue to do here in Rangoon what I can with good health, but at the same time, because of my old age, I wait year by year for the coming of my removal, and I entrust myself to your prayers, and to those of all our brothers, friends, and benefactors, that I may die at the good hour. Oh, how many years have gone by! How soon we get old! How this life goes by like smoke! By now I am totally indifferent to what is visible: at least would I be allured by the invisible, the ones for which I have left my country, relatives, and comforts of the present life! Pray that I would be so at least in the last days of my life. Goodbye in Jesus Christ’s mercy!”

Toward the end of 1798 the venerable missionary got so sick that in few days he reached the end at the age of 67. He died on October 25, assisted by Fr. Sangermano. A few days later the Pontifical letters arrived from Rome elevating him to the dignity as Bishop of Sebastopolis, to be the Apostolic Vicar.

 

October 31
 FATHER JOHN JAMES DE CASEIS
 One of the first companions of the Holy Founder
 (14.?- 1545)

 

After the Ven. Ferrari and Morigia, Fr. De Caseis was the first to receive the habit from the Holy Founder, St. Anthony M. Zaccaria, on June 10, 1534. On the 15th he changed his name to Paul Anthony, but he will always be remembered with his baptismal name.

Another piece of news we have about him is that on October 6, 1544, he was the spiritual director of Paul Jerome Tursis, and that on July 3, 1545 he was elected as discreet in his old age. In one of his last letters the Founder addresses him as “the faithful John James,” a very significant designation considering how many who had defected during the persecution.

This is how his death is recorded: “The night before All Saints day of 1545, Paul Anthony De-Caseis died, victim of high fever and headache, after an illness of only twenty days.” Like the other confreres, he was buried in the church of St. Paul.

 

October 31
 FATHER BENEDICT NISSER
 62nd Superior General
 (1835-1897)

Fr. Nisser was born in Milan, on January 11, 1835. His father was from Belgium and his mother from Milan. He received his education in the diocesan seminary, until 1856, when he felt the call to Religious Life. He entered the novitiate in Monza on September 17, and professed his vows the following year on October 22, 1857. For theology he was sent to Paris, but the following year he moved to Gien because of health reasons. There he started his apostolic mission with the young people.

He celebrated his first Mass in Paris on September 18, 1859, and was assigned as spiritual director of the boarding school in Gien. Later he was to be procurator and preacher. The Bishop put him in charge of the Sisters in the local Hospice, and in 1867 he was elected Rector for five years. His greatest merit was to open, in 1875, the local minor seminary for our Congregation, with a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In 1877 he was elected Provincial Superior of France, while he was Superior of the seminary, dedicating most of his time to the solid education of the young aspirants to Religious Life. In 1880 he was elected General Visitor making him a little freer to attend to his seminarians and his works of charity. However, at this time, France, with a ban, forced all foreigners to leave the country. So Fr. Nisser had to go back to Italy. Very moving was the farewell given to him on the evening of November 13, 1880.

After a few months in Turin and in Monza as a preacher and confessor, in 1881, he was made Rector of our seminary in Genoa, which later was transferred to Cremona. Here, Fr. Nisser will direct the seminary and the new school of St. Luke for three years He would also be busy in the missions to the countryside. His next assignment was to be in Perugia where he created a club of young people aspiring to the priesthood. He received many praises from the local Bishop, the future Leo XIII. In October 1889, he was called to run the novitiate in Mouscron, Belgium. ;

After three years he was reelected Superior but a serious illness almost brought him to the tomb. The doctors did not know what to think of it, but Fr. Nisser entrusted himself to the intercession of the Holy Founder. Although in severe pain, he made a pilgrimage to his tomb in Milan. As he arrived on April 25, 1894, he wanted to celebrate the Mass on the tomb of the Blessed. For the next day he was in extreme pain, until the night, when suddenly he felt a new life in his body, perfectly healed.

He proceeded for Rome. It took him a full month, passing from one house to another to preach and hear confessions with the stamina of a young man. In the General Chapter of 1895, he was elected Superior General. He visited all the provinces. In Genoa he promoted the opening of the “Vittorino da Feltre.” In Brussels he opened a new house for the apostolate and worked hard for the canonization of the Holy Founder. He was busy as ever when suddenly he fell ill again. At the very vigil of the canonization of the Holy Founder he was laying in bed in atrocious pain, first in Milan and then in Gien, the victim of a tumor. He lasted until October 31, 1897, when he died at the age of 62, having edified all with his piety and patience in the midst of atrocious pain.

He was dearly loved with his dignified and most loving attitude, and a very paternal authority. He was a true model of a fervent Religious.

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