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 - April

The experience has been made. I am 53 year old, and for me the reality is beautiful. Traveling or on pilgrimage, I have reached the top of the mountain, the shrine I have been dreaming of and desired from far away. 
Now I look down with serenity at the profound valleys spread at my feet, and which slowly vanish in the shadows. It has been seventeen years that I have climbed from truth to truth, from clarity to clarity, and I have found my rest in the cloistered life. For me the reality is beautiful.
I thank the Lord for the happiness I am enjoying, and as I harvest in abundance the fruits of the autumn, I do not regret the flowers of the spring.

(Fr. Augustine Schouwaloff, My Conversion and My Vocation)

 

 

APRIL

 

1 April
- 1604 Father CELSO ADORNO (1567-1604), Founder of St. Martin in Asti.
- 1782 Bishop SALVATORE ANDREANI (1704-1782) Bishop of Lodi
 
2 April
- 1725 Father PHILIP CESATI (1684-1725), Missionary in Burma
- 1859 Father AUGUSTINE SCHOUVALOFF (1804-1859), Russian convert.
- 1872 Father LUDOVIC THOMAS MANINI (1803-1872) Founder of the Sisters “Daughters of Divine Providence”
 
3 April
- 1691 Bishop PHILIP BALLY (1605-1691), Bishop of Aosta.
 
4 April
- 1555 PAOLA ANTONIA (VIRGINIA) NEGRI, the first to receive the habit of the Angelics (1536), and "divine mistress" of the Paulines.
- 1832 Father JOSEPH D’AMATO (1758-1832), Missionary in Burma.
 
5 April
- 1763 Father BENIGNO AVENATI (1585-1648), Missionary in Burma.
- 1850 Father PASQUALE MALIPIERO (1779-1850), 53rd Superior General.
- 1948 Bishop LOUIS GRASSI (1887-1948), Bishop of Alba from Mondovì, a man of sacred sciences and a most zealous Pastor of souls. In the Congregation he dedicated himself to the knowledge and glorification of the virtues of the Founders and of the Venerable Canale. His “Course of Theology” was highly praised.
 
6 April
- 1601 Father JOHN BAPTIST PIOLTINI (1543-1601), the first Visitor General of the Congregation
- 1685 Father ALEXANDER MADERNO (1618-1685), 25th Superior General
 
8 April
- 1850 Father FORTUNATO REDOLFI (1777-1850), Founder of the Oratorio.
 
 9 April
- 1567 St. Alexander Sauli is elected Superior General of the Congregation
- 1698 Brother ALEXANDER BINNER (1625-1698), Humble and charitable infirmarian. Bro. Alexander professed his vows in Vienna in 1649, after a period of training in Montù and in Monza. After a short period in St. Michael, Vienna, he was assigned to St. Barnabas in Milan, where he spent the rest of his life as an infirmarian. He died on April 9, 1698.
 
10 April
- 1586 Father MARTIN DEL MAINO (1551-1586), 10th Superior General.
- 1990 Father SALVATORE DE RUGGIERO, he was the first to publish the Sermons of the Founder as an appendix to the "Life" written by Guy Chastel (1933).
 
13 April
- 1546 Venerable Father JAMES ANTHONY MORIGIA (1497-1546), Co-Founder and 1st Superior General (1536-42).

14 April
- 1647 Father JOHN ROMITO (+1647), Hermit.
 
15 April
- 1536 Father James Anthony Morigia is elected first Superior General of the Barnabites.
- 1562 Father BARTHOLOMEW SORIANO (1515-1562), one of the first Barnabites from the Venetian Territory.
- 1815 Father FELIX CARONNI (1747-1815), Religious of vast culture.
- 1968 Father FELIX FAGETTI (1916-1968), Missionary in Chile, he dedicated his life to the youth in our schools for a healthy discipline of the mind and of the spirit. The Chile Government in appreciation honored him with the country’s highest medal for a foreigner.
 
16 April
- 1692 Father LOUIS CAIMO (1611-1692), Great apostle in Austria and Germany.
 
17 April
- 1630 Father JOHN THOMAS RICCI (1572-1630), First victim of the 1630 pestilence in St. Alexander.
- 1926 Father FRANCIS PARISI (1844-1926), Orator and teacher.
 
18 April
- 1662 By a Breve of Alexander VII, the General Curia of the Barnabites is moved from Milan to Rome.
- 1758 Brother LEOPOLD RIPAMONTI (1687-1758), Zealous infirmarian.
 
19 April
- 1921 Benedict XV approves the constitution of the League of St. Paul, the rebirth of the third College.

21 April
- 1882 Leo XIII erects as a Monastery the Angelics' residence in Crema, after the rebirth of the Order.
- 1962 Mother FLAVIA MONAT da ROCHA, Superior General of the Angelics (1932-1948).

22 April
- 1757 Bishop JOHN JEROME DELLA TORRE (1679-1757), Bishop of Sarzana.
- 1802 The diocesan process for the canonization of the Founder is started in Milan.
- 1917 Father CIPRIAN FILLOUX (1850-1917), Exemplar religious.
 
24 April
- 1720 Father SEBASTIAN GIRIBALDI (1643-1720), Moral theologian.
 
25 April
- 1536 Inauguration of St. Paul the Converted church, attached to the monastery of the Angelics.
- 1810 Suppression by Napoleon of all religious Orders.
 
26 April
- 1919 The Holy See dispenses the Angelics from the cloister.
 
27 April
- 1664 Bishop CHARLES PHILIP MEIO (1600-1664), Bishop of Bisignano.
 
29 April
- 1652 Father PETER BONCOMPAGNI (1594-1652), Exemplar religious in the Bearn.
 
30 April
- 1601 Brother JOHN PAUL LUPI (1537-1601), a simple servant of God.
- 1572 St. PIUS V, Pope (1504-1572), a dear friend and protector of the Congregation, a "most faithful and useful friend."

 

 

April 1

FATHER CELSO ADORNO
Founder of St. Martin in Asti
(1567-1604)

 Fr. Adorno was from Genoa, a descendent of St. Catherine of Genoa, and nephew of Blessed John Augustine Adorno, Founder of the Clerics Regular Minor. His father sent him to Milan to study at the Brera with the Jesuits. While there, he used to attend the church of St. Barnabas, and he was impressed by the simple and dedicated life of those Fathers, so he asked to be admitted. He went to Monza for the novitiate, but had to wait to be 16 to be able to profess the vows in 1583. He was very good with his studies, and so at 22 he was a doctor in Philosophy and Theology.
 Bishop Bascapè, having noticed his qualities, asked the Superiors to have him in his diocese to run his seminary. Fr. Adorno was only 32 years old. Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, had become very fond of him so he granted to the Barnabites the church of St. Martin in Asti, and later he requested their presence in Turin too. But by then Fr. Adorno had gone already to heaven, as he died suddenly on April 1, 1604, in Asti, at the age of 37.
 The historians speak of him as a saint: “The Venerable Fr. Celso Adorno died in 1604. He was one of the most outstanding subjects by blood, by learning, and piety the Barnabites had at that time.” “This Father was born from a noble family, in Genoa. He was outstanding for religiosity, integrity of life, affability of his ways, and the power of his intellect;  a learned man in every branch of knowledge; so dear to the Duke Charles Emmanuel that he was very pleased to deal with him, and to have him close, often he would call him to Turin” (Fr. Gabuzio).


April 1

BISHOP SALVATORE ANDREANI
Bishop of Lodi
(1704-1782)

 The Barnabites have been always very grateful to the Andreani family for giving Bishop Salvatore to the Congregation, for safeguarding St. Barnabas in Milan, for the foundation of the college of St. Francesco in Lodi, and for donating some properties in Brembio.

 Bishop Andreani was born in Milan on February 15, 1704 from the Count John Anthony and Maria Frances Monticelli. He attended the Arcimboldi schools, and at the end of his curriculum he asked to be admitted into our Order. He professed his vows in Monza on October 14, 1722. At the end of his philosophical and theological studies in Milan he was ordained a priest, and about 1732 he was assigned to St. John alle Vigne in Lodi as a teacher. In 1740 he became the Superior although only 36 years old. In the 20 years he was in Lodi he became very zealous in apostolic activities like catechism to the people and missions in the city and surroundings.

 “Fr. Salvatore Andreani, very respected for his piety and doctrine, was the first to renew in Lombardy and in our Province the missions according to the norms, rules and spirit of our Founder. During these missions, done together with Fr. Campana and Fr. Vernazza, he often spoke of the virtues of the Blessed Founder, in practical exams and moral instructions. He used to say that those missions had been blessed by God in a special way through the intercession of the Blessed Founder, because they had been started, promoted, and carried on according to his spirit” (Fr. Lesmi).

 Toward the end of 1752 he was elected Rector of the Imperial college in Milan. He became also Procurator General of the Order, and finally Clement XIII made him Bishop of Lodi in 1765. We know very little of his life as a Bishop. What we know is that as soon as he took possession he started a general mission for the whole diocese, and worked hard to restore discipline among the clergy.  This was the time of Josephinism (the Austrian Emperor Joseph’s new rules and regulations against the church). Bishop Andreani stood firm in defending the rights of the church, but at the same time he had to compromise in many things, like the abolition of theology in the schools in favor of physics, algebra and natural history, causing the Barnabites to leave those schools.

 He was Bishop of Lodi for 17 years as he died on April 1, 1782.


April 2

FATHER PHILIP CESATI
Missionary in Burma
(1684-1725)

 Born in Milan, in 1684, Fr. Cesati entered the Congregation when he was 19. At the end of his studies he taught first at the Arcimboldi school in Milan, and then he became Prefect of the school in Lodi.

 He was sent by Clement XI as a Pro-Legate to the Emperor of China, to prepare the road for the Legate Bishop Mezzabarba, regarding the dispute over the “Chinese Rites.” Fr. Cesati left Rome in February of 1719. Once in Canton he presented the Pontifical letters to the Emperor, but he himself was able to see the Emperor only after some adventures including two months in prison. The delegation comprised, besides Fr. Cesati and Bishop Mezzabarba, other four Barnabites: Ferrari, Rasini, Alessandri, and Calchi. Unfortunately they were not able to reach an agreement with the Emperor on the thorny issue of the “Chinese Rites,” but the mission became providential for our Congregation as missionary activity. In fact, the Fathers instead of returning to Italy asked to remain in the area to open missions. Fathers Cesati, Rasini, and Alessandri remained in Canton, and later in Co-Chin- China. The conditions were very demanding, especially because of some bad reputations build by previous missionaries, but our Fathers did not spare themselves.
 Fr. Cesati was assigned to the city of Ke-fu and he achieved great success among the people and also converting a previous French Abbot who had become a public scandal. After four years of apostolic missionary work, while the letter nominating him Bishop of Nabucco and Apostolic Vicar of Co-Chin China was on the way, Fr. Cesati died on April 2, 1725, at the age of 42. Fr. Jerome of the Most Holy Trinity of the Minors wrote a detail account of his death: “Truly this Father edified all with his patience and conformity to God’s will; and I can say that his death was precious in the eyes of God, and now is enjoying the heavenly glory.”


April 2

FATHER AUGUSTIN SCHOUVALOFF
Russian convert
(1804-1859)

 Gregory Schouvaloff was born in St. Petersburg on October 25, 1804, from the Count Peter and Princess Sophia Cherbatoff, a very distinguished family for cultural and political tradition in Russia and outside. Orphaned by his father when still very young, he was raised and educated by his mother who, having converted to Catholicism, must have influenced his future conversion. When eight he was sent to school with the Jesuits at first and then to the Protestant school of Hofwil in Switzerland. When twenty he married a noble Russian girl, but after years of suffering, she died leaving him a widower with children.

 The painful loss of his wife and of one of his sons, only a few years after, shook the Count from his spiritual sloth. Encouraged by some of his friends, like Lady Swetchine, Prince Galitzin and Prince Gagarin, and under the guidance of a most wise Jesuit, Fr. Ravignan, the Count Gregory started a slow journey which will lead him to become a Catholic, which took place on January 6, 1843, in Paris: “from then on,” as he wrote, “the idea of the infinite, of perfection, of God were the necessary and constant companions of my existence” (My conversion and my vocation, published in Paris, in 1859).
 After a Retreat done in Paris in 1852, having taken care of the education of his children, he reached his final decision. During the Summer of 1853, while in Milan, he became friends with our Fr. Piantoni, who would lead him to enter the Congregation. On December 20, 1855 he presented his official request in Monza. He started the curriculum on January 17, 1856 and received the habit on February 26, stripping himself all noble titles, and took the name Augustine.

  He himself will affirm later that the novitiate year had been for him the happiest of his life. His many letters to so many friends all over Europe manifest his great enthusiasm with a continuous praise and thanks to God. For sure he had plenty of trials and difficulties facing such a drastic change of life, but his strong will, faith, and love of God led him to triumph becoming a “rare model of regular observance.”

 His humility was causing admiration in all: “How beautiful it was to see Schouvaloff, all humility, receiving a lesson from a younger companion (on how to serve Mass), studying his booklet, trying with someone else, and then repeat to the young teacher the lesson he had studied!” He loved his young companions, and he was tender and loving like a father with them. He found his most beautiful moments in prayer and for him it was a special feast to be able to receive Holy Communion.

 So spiritual prepared and full of joy, Augustine professed his vows on March 2, 1857, in the hands of the Provincial Superior, Fr. Carlo Minola. Fr. Schouvaloff’s life as a religious can be offered as an example for all. While he was preparing himself for the priesthood, he wrote: “How crazy it would be not to become a saint, having received, like me, so many warnings, so many and so extraordinary graces. Oh my God, Oh my God, abyss of mercy: yes, yes, I want to become a saint.”

 It will be to his merit if the Barnabites were able to return to France. He was keeping a friendly relationship with Bishop Dupanloup of Orléans, who welcomed the Barnabites in his diocese: “I ask your pardon, if I, not only a simple novice,” Fr. Schouvaloff wrote to Fr. Piantoni, “but the last among them, dare to express to you so freely my thoughts, but I too am a son of the Congregation, and if I am the last by time, I do not wish to be the last in the love that all of us should nourish competitively for her.” His desires became a reality as, in 1857, he reached Paris together with Fr. Magri, and then moved to Gien to lay the foundation of that community; then he went back to Monza’s novitiate, to prepare himself for the priestly ordination, which took place on September 8, 1857. Right away he went back to Paris, which was to be his apostolic field. In a short time the confessionals and the pulpits of the city became accustom to his presence. Other cities which took advantage of his apostolic zeal were Orleans, Gien, Montargis, and Aubigny.  

 Fr. Schouvaloff was sweet, meek, affable with all, having a secret on how to draw to himself every kind of people, of every age and status. Unable to think evil of anyone, he acted always with an open heart. Indeed he was a simple and upright man.

 He dedicated himself in a special way to the conversion of his mother country Russia. He kept in contact with his two Russian friends Fr. Martinoff and Fr. Gagarin, and many other Russians in Paris. To all of them he constantly recommended to pray for Russia. He himself three times daily he was offering his life to the Lord for this purpose, and was inviting his confreres to keep at heart this intention: “I hope that one day our Congregation will have in front of God and in front of the Church the merit of having led my poor country back the bosom of truth.” 

 In the midst of his apostolic zeal, suddenly he collapsed and died on April 2, 1859, at the age of 55: “Man, rising day by day toward You, O my God, can become like You in such a way that at the moment he has to leave earth he will have to do nothing else but take a step forward to hurl himself into your eternity.”


April 2

FATHER LUDOVIC MANINI
Founder of the Sisters “Daughters of Divine Providence”
(1803-1872)

 “On a rainy Sunday morning, a pious young Roman girl, Elena Bettini, not able to go as usual to the church of the Pianto, where she used to get together every month with the catechist teachers, and wanting to receive Holy Communion, went to the church of St. Charles ai Catinari, much closer to home. She approached a confessional: it was the one of the Pastor, Fr. Manini, Barnabite, whom she did not know. That soul seemed to be so noble to that good religious, that he though to be able to carry on in her a salutary design God had for a time been inspiring him with: and the pious young woman found that new guide so sure that she decided to continue to have him as her guide.”  This was the first encounter of a long spiritual relationship which will lead to the foundation of the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Providence.

 Fr. Manini was born in Reggio Emilia on July 7, 1803. He entered the Barnabite Congregation and professed his vows in Naples on May 23, 1823. After his ordination in Rome he was assigned in Naples as a teacher, and then he was transferred to Turin to exercise his excellent qualities as a preacher and spiritual director in St. Dalmazzo.

 In July 1829 he was nominated pastor of St. Charles in Rome. He was only 26, which attested to his zeal, dedication and solid preparation. His deep sensitivity to the needs of the time led him to the foundation of the new Congregation after he met Elena Bettini.
 The beginnings of the Congregation were very humble, in a very poor house rented with the permission of the Superiors. The 18 year old Elena was joined by two older girls, Violante Parigini and Louisa Migliacci, on the evening of September 7, 1832. The next day, feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother, Fr. Manini gathered them together in the little chapel, and gave them the habit to start the new Congregation under the protection of Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence. 

 In 1835 Fr. Manini was transferred back to St. Dalmazzo in Turin. For sure the move was very painful both for him and for the Sisters. He dedicated himself to his new parish, but did not stop to follow the development of his Congregation in Rome, especially when the two companions left leaving Elena all alone to run the Institute.

 From Turin Fr. Manini went to Parma as Rector, then to Bologna and Vercelli. In 1850 his elderly mother needed assistance and so, with the permission of the Superiors, he moved with her in Venice. The Cardinal entrusted to his care the parish of SSTs. Ermagora and Fortunate. In 1863 he moved to Monza to assist the new founded Congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and joined the Community of the Carrobiolo.

 The General Chapter of 1865 elected him Provincial Consultor and Superior-master at the Carrobiolo Novitiate. When the novices moved to Milan he went with them to St. Barnabas. In 1866 he had to witness the painful suppression of Religious corporation by the Kingdom of Italy. His health had been failing, and in 1869 he became seriously ill, and eventually he died on April 2, 1872.


April 3

BISHOP PHILIBERT ALBERT BALLY
Bishop of Aosta
(1605-1691)

 Bishop Bally as a young man was selected by Charles Emanuel I as personal secretary of the Prince Victor Amedeo and Mary Christine of France. When 28, in 1633, he entered the Barnabite Congregation, and worked as a religious in Lescar and Paris, excelling as a preacher in defense of the Catholic faith. In 1643 he published a booklet, Disputationes de Traditionibus ecclesisticis contra haereticos, which caused many conversions including Daniel Martin who will become a Barnabite too.
 In 1659, Alexander VII nominated him Bishop of Aosta. As a Bishop he continued in his efforts to protect the Catholic Church and to develop in the diocese authentic Christian life. He was appraised as a “most scholarly man and defender of the apostolic tradition,” “A man of exemplary life and outstanding defender of the apostolic traditions.”
 He was 86 when he died on April 3, 1691.


April 4
FATHER JOSEPH D’AMATO
Missionary in Burma
(1758-1832)

 Fr. D’Amato was born in Naples on September 18, 1758. When 15 he entered our Congregation. He professed his vows in St. Charles alle Mortelle on December 8, 1774. He studied theology in Rome and when still a deacon in 1780 he was sent to Aosta to teach philosophy. Ordained a priest in 1781, he volunteered for the Burma mission. He left from Livorno together with Fr. Sangermano.
 They reached Rangoon toward the beginning of June of 1783. After a couple of weeks of traveling in land they met Fr. Marcello Cortenovis in Nabek. He will stay there for two years to learn the language and the customs of the land. In 1785 Fr. D’Amato established himself in Monlà. Alone and deprived of any means, he almost gave in to desperation to return home. He was able to overcome this difficult moment, and went to work with great enthusiasm. His skill in surgery made him very popular. “The district where he lived was infested by thieves, and the virtues of the venerable priest inspired great veneration even among the robbers so that they would never enter in his residence, except once when one of the thieves who did not know tried to enter but was arrested by members of his band. His medical knowledge allowed him to do a lot of good in the whole town, so that when Dr. Richardson last year (1832) passed by here at the border of Manipura, heard all over in his travel praises and moving reports about the beneficence and charity of Fr. D’Amato… He knew perfectly the Palì and the Burmese language… Was a good painter and most versatile in Natural History…” This is taken from a report given by the Protestant Major Burney in a letter dated April 9, 1832. In the same letter the Major gives information about the four volumes in folio Fr. D’Amato composed on the flora and fauna of the land, which unfortunately were destroyed in a fire during one of factions wars: “he received that sad news with pious and truly Christian resignation.” A resignation he showed throughout his fifty years as a missionary. The confreres, destroyed by fatigue and illness were falling one after another, and no new help was coming from Italy. He made various appeals for help, but even the personal presence of Fr. Sangermano did not cause any intervention in favor of the mission because of the political situation in Europe, leading to the suppression of the Religious Orders.
 Fr. D’Amato, left alone with Fr. De Brito and Fr. Coo, tried his best to attend to the needs of the Mission. Meantime the Superiors in Italy, were forced to abandon the Mission, and so the Propagation of Faith nominated as new Apostolic Vicar the Scolopian Fr. Frederick Cao who arrive in Rangoon in 1831 with Fr. Dominic Tarolli, a diocesan, and Fr. Anthony Ricca, an Augustinian. The two missionaries, having heard that Fr. D’Amato was still alive in Monlà immediately went to visit him. The encounter was a most emotional one: “They found the venerable old man in the church, all alone, prostrated in prayer in front of the altar… As they slowly approached him and presented themselves to him as Priests and Italian, he broke into tears of joy. But in what miserable condition they found him! Barefooted, exhausted, a cassock falling to pieces, indeed a most miserable state. They stayed with him for few days to hear from his lips the long story of his sufferings and of the mission, and to know what to do” (Gallo, Storia del Cristianesimo nell’Impero Barmano).
 Ready to sing his Nunc dimittis, Fr. D’Amato died at the beginning of April 1832, at the age of 74, assisted by Fr. Tarolli. Still Burney says: “Fr. D’Amato will be buried with the most solemn pomps; his body is kept in a barrel of honey until all the Christians of the area could get together to render the extreme honors to the inanimate body of their venerated pastor.”


April 5

FATHER BENIGNO AVENATI
Missionary in Burma
(1734-1763)

 Son of the Count Avenati of Pinerolo, when only 16, Fr. Avenati entered our Congregation and professed his vows in Bonneville (Savoy) in 1750.
 His dream to be a missionary was realized in 1759 as he was assigned to Burma. In France, while waiting for a vessel together with his companions, he dedicated himself to the apostolate as if he was already in the missions. Finally they found a vessel but only to end up in Portugal after a shipwreck. Back in Italy he left again together with Fr. Percoto but by land this time with a caravan of merchants. Once they reached the Persian Gulf they embarked on an English vessel, which finally brought them to Rangoon at the beginning of October of 1761.
 For two years Fr. Avenati worked zealously without reserve, barefooted, in marshy lands, jeopardizing his health. He lived also in extreme poverty and with no medicine available. All this contributed to his early death.
 The fame of his apostolic activities had reached Rome, and the Propagation of Faith was ready to send the papers with his election as Apostolic Vicar, when they received news of his death. He had died on April 5, 1763.


April 5

FATHER PASQUALE MALIPIERO
53rd Superior General
(1779-1850)

 Pasquale Malipiero belonged to one of the noble families of Venice. He studied in our school in Udine, and when 24 he was ordained a priest. Called to be a religious almost right after his ordination he entered our Congregation, and professed his vows in St. Charles ai Catinari in Rome on June 17, 1804.
 His first assignment was to teach philosophy in Foligno, then in Livorno where he would be for most of his life except for 1821 when he was teaching in Naples, and the three years (1835-1838) he was Superior General.
 In Livorno he was for two terms Provincial Superior and often local Superior and Vicar, and in the end he was also General Visitor.
 During his term as Superior General he reopened the novitiate in St. Severino, the Gesù church in Perugia, and completed the foundation of the Carlo Alberto school in Moncalieri.
 He died as a saint on April 5, 1850, at the age of 71.

 

April 6

FATHER JOHN BAPTIST PIOLTINI
First Visitor General of the Congregation
(1543-1601)

 Before the Order was divided into Provinces there were two Visitors who were very influential in the running of the Congregation. They were elected for the first time in the General Chapter of 1579, at the presence of St. Charles Borromeo, when the Constitutions were promulgated. The first two Fathers to cover this position were Fr. Timothy Facciardi and Fr. John Baptist Pioltini.
 We do not have much news about Fr. Pioltini. He entered the novitiate in St. Barnabas and professed the vows in the hands of St. Alexander Sauli in 1568, at the age of 25. He would spend his life always in St. Barnabas either as Visitor, or Assistant, or Vicar General. His name is mentioned the first time in 1576 when Fr. Facciardi, Superior General, asked him together with Fr. Omodei, to resolve a controversy with the Poscolana family. Later the college of Casalmonferrato was put under his responsibility.
 The new General, Fr. Besozzi, asked him together with Fr. Asinari and Fr. Corio to compose the Penitential Canons to be added to the Constitutions. After 1579, when he was elected Visitor General, for about twenty years he travelled to visit the various communities in Italy to help in proper observance of the Constitutions. He died on April 6, 1601.

 

April 6

FATHER ALEXANDER MADERNO
26th Superior General
(1618-1685)

 Fr. Maderno was born in Switzerland. As a young man he entered our Congregation and professed the vows in Monza on July 22, 1635. After his ordination in 1641 he was assigned as a teacher in Pavia, where he stayed until 1644 when he was assigned to teach at the Arcimboldi school in Milan. He distinguished himself not only as a Philosophy teacher but also as a preacher and as a confessor in St. Alexander. In 1650 he was elected Superior of St. John alle Vigne in Lodi, a position he held for six years. Next he was Superior in Cremona.
 In the General Chapter of 1659, when it was decided to transfer the General Curia from Milan to Rome, he was elected Provincial Superior of Lombardy. In 1665 he had to transfer to Rome as he was elected Assistant General. There he continued his teaching apostolate with our students in St. Charles ai Catinari, and there he published in three volumes his Cursus Theologicus. He was also named examiner of the clergy and consultor  of the Holy Office.
 In the General Chapter of 1680 he was elected Superior General. One of his first acts was to open a house in Bazas (France) at the invitation of the local Bishop, and was able to avoid the closure of Acqui. He pushed for the publication of Fr. Anacleto Sacchi’s Synopsis, which helped to reawaken the devotion to the Founder. In 1683 he was reelected Superior General, but only for a short time as he died on April 6, 1685, at the age of 67.


April 8

FATHER FORTUNATO REDOLFI
Founder of the Oratorio
(1777-1850)

 Fr. Redolfi was born in Zenano on November 8, 1777. He attended the St. Mary’s of the Angels school in Monza, at that time run by some diocesan priests. He got to know the Barnabites and expressed his desire to join them, but because of the dangerous political situation of the time his father called him back home. In 1799 he had to join Napoleon’s army, but he kept his sanity with the reception of the Sacraments and the daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When in 1799 Napoleon’s army was defeated, Fortunato went home but only for a short time, as on September 30 he entered the Barnabite novitiate in Monza.

After his profession, done in private on October 11, 1800, because of the political upheavals of the time, he went to Milan for his theology and reached ordination on July 24, 1802. His first destination was Cremona as a teacher, but because of his health he was moved to Monza, then Bologna, and then Lodi.

 During the suppression by Napoleon he stayed in Adro with an uncle, the Jesuit Ludovic Redolfi, who was in charge of the local church. Fr. Fortunato had the opportunity to show his apostolic zeal and great charity toward the people. It was during this time that he started to have difficulty with his hearing, which eventually leading him to total deafness: “It is better,” he used to say smiling, “in this way I am not able to hear so many awful things!” One day walking through the country side, he saw an old convent falling apart. Inspired by God he decided to restructure it with the permission of the local pastor, and he used it for a large group of young ladies under the protection of St. Ursula, whom he directed for many years. It was one of these religious, Sr. Lucrezia Biemmi to have a dream or vision, in which she saw the holy religious as educator and leader of a multitude of young people. Fr. Redolfi saw the inspiration from God to dedicate himself to the education of the young through the Oratorio.

 He opened the first oratorio in Adro, then Gardone, Sarezzo, etc. In the midst of many doubts, oppositions and even persecutions, he persisted in his work, and soon he was surrounded by great admiration. Meantime the political situation was changing as Napoleon was defeated, and the Religious Orders were reestablished. Fr. Redolfi felt the call to return immediately among the Barnabites. Toward the end of 1821 he presented himself to Fr. Michael Mantegazza at the Longone college in Milan, and he was assigned to Monza as a catechist. But his heart was with the youth, so he petitioned his Superiors to pursue his dream. With some clerics who were on vacation, he founded the oratorio of Our Lady of Sorrow in Monza, where he worked for 28 years.

 At first he used a covered area at the Carrobiolo, and then with the help of the youth themselves new spaces were created and added, creating the final setting of the oratorio. His joy was the greatest when on June 20, 1838, the chapel was solemnly blessed, and the newly ordained Cajetan Stucchi, an alumni of the oratorio, celebrated his first mass. As the oratorio progressed Fr. Redolfi was drafting and adapting the rules and regulations, keeping the direction always in his hands, but with the help of wise and trusted cooperators. Every group of twenty had a supervisor. On Sunday morning they were required to attend the Mass and to sing the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, while in the afternoon, after catechism, they had plenty of time to play. During the week the oratorio was open, but without any obligation. On Thursday Fr. Fortunato would lead those present in the Stations of the Cross. He kept them always busy and involved with all kind of activities from sports to theater, poetry and music.

 In 1823 he provided an organization also for the girls with the approval of the Cardinal Archbishop Gaisruck, of the Archduke Rainieri, and the Superiors in Rome. At first he used a house of the Barnabites next to the Carrobiolo. The first directress was Maria Luisa Naudet. It did prosper until eventually it merged with the “St. Dorothea’s pious Work.”
 In 1833, encouraged by the success in Monza, he founded the second oratorio in Legnano, then in Usmate, Arcore, Vedano, etc… Meantime his mind kept dreaming, and he was thinking about a Society of adults devoted to the Holy Spirit, to renew the society and also for charitable work. He was also thinking of an institute for poor children to give them an adequate education…but they were only dreams as death prevented him to carry them out.

 Busy as he was with his youth, he cared greatly for the sick visiting them often to offer them the comforts of the sacraments.  Unable to hear confessions because of his deafness, he dedicated himself to preaching wherever he as requested.
 He died on April 8, 1850, at the age of 72.


April 10

FATHER MATTHIAS DEL MAINO
11th Superior General
(1551-1586)

 Fr. Del Maino was born in Novi Ligure in 1551. While studying at the University of Pavia, he decided to enter the novitiate of the Barnabites and professed his vows in 1572 in Milan. After three years of philosophy in Pavia, he went to new house of St. Blaise in Rome to study theology.  With special permission from the Superior General, on the way to Rome he was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Osimo, and he celebrated his first Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Loretto. In Rome he attended the Roman College, where he became a good friend of St. John Bellarmine.

 At the end of his studies he dedicated himself with great zeal to the preaching apostolate. One day he was preaching with such intensity that a vain ruptured in his stomach, causing him to be sickly for the rest of his life. In 1582 he was nominated Superior of St. Blaise in Rome, a he governed that community with great prudence, vigilance and charity. In 1584 he was elected Assistant General so he moved to Milan. During the following General Chapter often he had to miss the meetings because of his health, but anyway he was elected Superior General. He exercised his duty with great zeal, promoting in the Congregation the religious spirit, regular observance and study. During the fall he went to Rome with Fr. Pioltini to visit the St. Blaise community. He went back to Milan through Genoa. Back in Milan his physical condition deteriorated and reached his death at the young age of 35.

 “As in life he had been always a great devout of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His passion and death, so much more at his death he kept His memory. Indeed he did not take his eyes away from the Crucifix which he had put in front of him, and often he dwelled spiritually with Him; in his last moments, with great effort he opened his eyes and fixing them on the Crucifix he gave his spirit on April 10, 1586” (Fr. Seraphim Corti).


April 13

FATHER JAMES ANTHONY MORIGIA
Co-Founder of the Congregation
(1497-1546)

 St. Anthony M. Zaccaria was not the first Superior General of the Congregation because when, by Papal decree, a Superior General had to be appointed, he nominated Fr. Morigia: “According to the papal rules, the Venerable Zaccaria wanted to have a legitimate head to govern the Congregation. He ordered to have special prayers for three days to obtain the light of the Holy Spirit; then he called the Fathers in a meeting and he was the first to express his opinion in favor of Fr. James Morigia, saying that he considered him to be the best of all for the office. All begged him to keep the office for himself since God had given him to the Congregation as its Founder. But the most humble Father was firm in his decision and proposed Fr. Morigia. The Fathers acquiesced and confirmed the choice. And so on April 15, 1536, the first Superior General of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul was officially appointed” (Fr. Gobio).
 Although not forty yet, the first Superior General of the Congregation was the oldest of the three Cofounders, being born in 1497.
 In reality, when he was 25 years old, Morigia did not go to Milan for holy reasons. Gobio writes: “He loved to ride, the play of arms, light conversation, music, songs, courting, hunting, comedies, perfumes, caring for his hair, exquisite and pompous clothes; he stood out among his peers for this, since the most stylish and dressy fashions were his; and so he was famous among his peers and all others as the gallant and dashing Morigia.”

 A casual meeting with the Benedictine monk John Buono suddenly changed his life. He asked and was admitted in the Oratory “The Eternal Wisdom” (“where many nobles gathered at specific hours to pray, to do penance and to listen to the Holy Word”). There he met Zaccaria and Ferrari.

 Their common ideals and resolutions took concrete form in the desire to consecrate themselves to God: but only in 1534 was Morigia able to join the other two in common life (this is why the Breve of approval by Clement VII does not mention his name). On August 24, 1534, Zaccaria gave him the religious habit, and on July 4 of the following year he was ordained a priest.
 So the trio was complete and the Congregation could start on its journey, relying on the most intimate cooperation among the three: “funiculum triplex difficile rumpitur” (it is difficult to break a three-stranded rope), we read in the first chronicles of the Congregation. After more than 460 years, that solid union started by the first three members is still holding together all the members of the Congregation.

 Very wise in the ways of the world, when Barnabites and Angelics became victims of all kind of accusations he did insist to bring the trial before a tribunal for a public sentence of absolution. This happened in August of 1537 and they were totally acquitted of any suspicion of introducing in Milan (because of their humble and poor style of life) the heresy of the Poor of Lyons and of the Beguines of France.
 Of course in 1539, after the death of St. Anthony M. Zaccaria, Morigia’s work intensified: responsibility of the life of the community and of the apostolate of the Congregation (Ferrari was busy in Vicenza to carry on the mission started by Zaccaria).  In particular, he cared for the Angelics and the organization of the third family, “The Espoused.” He assisted Countess Torelli (who had started the Angelic Sisters together with Zaccaria) for the legal transfer of her possessions in Guastalla. He had to consolidate the convent of the Most Holy Crucifix, which later had to be closed for lack of members. But in a special way it was his joy to welcome into the Congregation the new members coming from the various Barnabite missions in the Milanese and Venetian domains.  He welcomed into the Congregation Fr. Omodei, Fr. Sacchi, Fr. Besozzi, besides all the Venetian Barnabites who were going to enrich the Congregation with holiness and zeal.
 At the end of his six year term, Morigia called a General Chapter to select a successor. His resignation was irrevocable although all the members were pressuring him to stay on, and so Fr. Bartholomew Ferrari was elected as second Superior General of the Congregation.
 Fr. Morigia was immediately entrusted with the formation of the novices (at that time all adult vocations, but still in need of a spiritual guide), until November 1544, when at the sudden death of Fr. Ferrari he was again asked to take the leadership of the Congregation. He thought that at the General Chapter held the following year he would be free from the task, but he was unanimously reelected, and so he had to stay on as Superior General.

 He personally cared for the reconstruction of the church of St. Barnabas, which on October 21, 1545, had finally been acquired by the Congregation (the process had been started by Zaccaria). An expert in architecture, Morigia provided the blue prints of the church and of the Fathers’ residence. On his family property he provided also a rest-home for infirm and tired out confreres, which functioned until the Napoleonic suppression.

 In April 1546, after assisting the Governor of Milan at his death-bed, Fr. Morigia took sick with high fever, and died on April 13.


April 14

FATHER JOHN ROMITO
Hermit
(…. - 1647)

 This is what Fr. Romito’s confessor wrote about him: “On April 14, 1647, Fr. Jon Romito, of the Barnabite Order, from Castelbuono, in the Feud of the Baglioni Lords, passed to eternal life.

 On the 29th of June, 1638, he had come to visit in Mercatello the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary, famous for so many graces. To find refuge for the first night he found a grotto in a cliff by Corbella, not too far from Mercatello. There he established his obscure dwelling, which was as long as his body, and served him as his rest during the night.
 He started a life of great penance, always barefooted, unshaved, covered with only one tunic, happy with only bread and water for his sustenance, controlling his body with chains and sackcloth, not omitting many Christian acts of charity toward his neighbors.
 All these things gave rise to great admiration and edification among the people. After almost ten years of this penitential life, he was caught by a continuous fever which tormented him for three months, covering his body with many insects, and so he had to give his spirit to God after receiving more than once the Holy Sacraments.
 He was given an honorable burial in the church of St. Mary’s of Perpetual Help of the Order of the Hermits, in a new tomb called of St. Monica, chosen for him. He was burial took place at the presence of a large crowd, and no one was able to refrain the tears of holy compunction during the solemn funerals. So I, Mariano, Vicario Curato and his confessor, testify.”


April 15

FATHER BARTHOLOMEW SORIANO
One of the first Venetian vocations
(1515?-1562)

 The two brothers, Dominic and Bartholomew, joined our Congregation as a fruit of Fr. Dinisius Da Sesto’s zeal during his mission in Venice. Bartholomew was one of the few who would survive the persecution by the Venetian authorities.
 It was during the Holy Week of 1545 that he presented himself to the Fathers in Milan asking for admission. He received the habit on May 3, and his baptismal name was changed to Bartholomew in honor of Fr. Bartholomew Ferrari who had just died.
 Having recognized his mature judgment and prudence, after only three months he was admitted to the priestly ordination, and he celebrated his First Mass on August 15 in the church of St. Paul. He was a lawyer, and very much mature, so he was elected on October 28 discreet, and spiritual director of the young postulant Innocent Cermenati. The following year, July 7, 1547, he was assigned to a new mission in Brescia, where he stayed for four months. Back to Milan he stayed in St. Barnabas for the next 16 years serving as discreet, confessor, exorcist, etc. until April 15, 1562, when he passed to eternal life.


April 15

FATHER FELIX CARONNI
Religious of vast culture
(1747-1815)

 Fr. Caronni, born in Monza in 1757, entered the Barnabites when 20. He studied in Pavia, and was ordained a priest in 1771. As all Barnabites he taught in many of our schools, but he had a natural inclinations for research and Archeology. In Rome, with the permission of the Superiors, he specialized in Antiquary and Numismatics; at the same time he mastered the classical languages (Latin, Greek, and Hebrew), just as well as modern ones (French, German, English, Hungarian). He was also a well skilled painter and engraver, and he obtained from the Emperor Leopold II the institution of an engraving school at the Brera Academy in Milan. In the midst of all these activities he managed to become a very well known and appreciated preacher on the most prestigious pulpits of Italy.
 As his reputation spread all over Europe, he came in contact with  the Count Michael Wickzai in Hungary, who needed an expert to organized his large numismatic collection. Fr. Caronni  obtained from the Superiors the permission to dedicate three years (1790-1793) to this task. The need to enlarge the collection allowed him to travel all over Europe. As he organized the Museum he published, in 1814, two large volumes with all necessary information on the museum itself. By his own request, the work was published not under his name, indeed he requested for his name not to be mentioned at all, not even in the preface by the Count himself.
 Fr. Caronni organized another collection for the Prince Coriglinao-Saluzzo, and he started one of his own, which then he donated, in the name of the Carrobiolo Community, to the Treasury of the Basilica  in Monza.

 It was during one of his many trips for research or for preaching that Fr. Caronni became involved in a real adventure worthy of a novel: “In 1804, after preaching Lent in Florence, he passed through Rome, then Naples, and then in Sicily, always looking for antiques. On June 3, he embarked from Palermo together with other companions for his return. They met on the sea a ship of Tunisian pirates, who brought them to Gallibia in Northern Africa. In Palermo Fr. Caronni had given his passport to the owner of the ship, who ran away with the load as soon as he realized the danger. So, Fr. Caronni striped of his money by the pirates, was forced to stay in Barberia, until, through the intervention of the Provincial Superior, of the vice-president Melzi, of the French Government, of many friends and admirers, he was freed from Tunisia. But the thing was not that easy, since, as we have seen, Fr. Caronni had no more the passport which was testifying that he was a Frenchman. Through the good graces of Mr. De Voize, General Commissioner in Tunisy, he was a guest in his house… Finally on September 30 he was able to leave Tunisy, and went to Livorno. Due to the yellow fever, he had to stay there until March 1805. He utilized the time to organize the material he had gathered, while taking care of the sick in the lazaretto.”

 Fr. Caronni realized how lucky he had been to have been rescued by his Superiors and friends, but what about his companions in the misadventure? He decided to write and publish an account of the adventure utilizing the revenues to pay the ransom for his unlucky companions. The work was entitled “Ragguaglio.”

 In 1809 Fr. Caronni returned definitely in Milan where he would spend the rest of his life. He died on April 15, 1815, at the age of 68.


April 16

FATHER LOUIS CAIMO
Apostle in Austria and Germany
(1611-1692)

 Born in 1611, Fr. Caimo joined the Barnabites on October 3, 1627, and professed his vows in Monza on October 22, 1628. While studying in Milan, he witnessed the great pestilence of 1630. He finished his studies in Montù, and was ordained a priest in 1634. His first assignment was in St. Michael, Vienna, where he spent most of his life fully dedicated to the care of the souls. Often he was Superior, and also vice-Provincial Superior.

 We would like to mention some particular events of his life. With humility and skill he intervened to dissipate the calumnies against Fr. Costanzo Arzoni, famous preacher in Germany, accused to be an apostate. Fr. Caimo presented a letter by Fr. Arzoni to the Emperor, which was enough for the Emperor to welcome Fr. Arzoni in Vienna as a hero. Fr. Arzoni was taken by surprise, and when he found out what had happen, he climbed the pulpit in St. Michael, offering his forgiveness to his accusers and making a public profession of faith.
 Fr. Caimo was instrumental for the preservation of our house in Mistelbach, which had been in great financial difficulties for the last thirty years: “After thirty years of a most costly litigation with the Bishop of Passavia, Fr. Caimo, through his skill, obtained victory and the possession of Mistelbach.” This house became the novitiate for the German houses, and he himself would be elected its Superior in 1661. In 1645, Fr. Caimo went to Milan for the General Chapter. The Emperor Leopold gave him letters for the Archbishop Litta of Milan, requesting some relics of St. Charles. Fr. Caimo brought to the Emperor: “a dalmatic used by the Saint, taken for the Duomo treasury, and a part of the Saint’s pants, enclosed in a silver chest.” The Emperor later donated them to the Fathers in St. Michael.
 After many years in Austria and Germany, in the General Chapter of 1680, Fr. Caimo was elected Superior of St. Barnabas. At the end of his term he remained there to spend the last years of his virtuous life. He died on April 16, 1692.


April 17

FATHER JOHN THOMAS RICCI
Victim of the pestilence
(1572-1630)

 Born in Pavia in 1572, Fr. Ricci entered the Congregation in 1590, and professed his vows on February 3, 1591 in the hands of the Ven. Fr. Bascapè.

 After eight years of studies in Pavia, he moved to Milan for his priestly ordination. At first he was assigned in St. Barnabas, then, in 1601, Fr. Dossena assigned him, together with Fr. Casati, to San Severino. The esteem and trust shown in him by Fr. Dossena proved right, as he, with his apostolic zeal, attracted the admiration of the Bishop, the Clergy, and the people.

 After a few years he was in Naples. In 1608 he had the opportunity to go to the near-by Telese to assist with maternal care the Barnabite Bishop Cattaneo during his last days. Even in Naples he gained the admiration of the Archbishop, who made him a confessor of the clergy, synodal examiner, and censor of new publications. A very fervent soul, he was never defeated by fatigue, caring only for the souls. With great zeal he attended to the church, works of mercy, and the sacred liturgy.

 In 1629, obedience called him back in Lombardy, first in Pavia, then to St. Alexander in Milan, where he sacrificed his life with great Christian generosity in the assistance to the victims of the pestilence. He fell a victim himself on April 17, 1630.


April 17
FATHER FRANCIS PARISI
Orator and teacher
(1844-1926)

 Fr. Parisi was born in Bari on April 13, 1844, and died in Naples on April 7, 1926. His personality was depicted beautifully by Fr. Semeria: “He had just completed eight years, and he has died on the road… As usual, that morning he had celebrated the Holy Mass in the little chapel at the Vomero; he had just confessed some student from the Bianchi, the little ones from our celebrated Neapolitan college, then he had climbed the Funicolare at Montesanto. As soon as he set down, he fell asleep in the Lord, to whom he had been the faithful, industrious, and prudent servant for so many years.

 His long life can be divided in three parts. Son of a good bourgeois family, nephew of Ruggero Bonghi, he soon entered the Barnabites, and encountered those most critical times of the anticlerical revolution. He saw with his own eyes by violent laws the closure of the beautiful college of Maria Luisa in Parma, where he had first taught. He had always loved the youth, and he must had been loved back, to lead them to God, if many years after students of our ex-institute in Parma, were remembering him with affection, and kept with him a friendly relationship.  Forced to leave Parma and excluded from teaching, the love for the youth and the zeal for souls opened to him another road which he would follow in a most noble way. He came to Genoa and in the shadow of our old Shrine in honor of the Holy Face of Jesus he gave rise, in the midst of difficulties inconceivable today, a youth club of education which in Genoa most appropriately was dedicated to St. Alexander Sauli. In the midst of the disorientation typical of those years which had seen the accumulations of so many ruins, and still lacking a clear plan of Christian reconstruction, Fr. Parisi saw the education of the youth as the best field for work and hope. And since the schools were being closed, he thought to open an Oratorio… mixing the sweetness more than of amusement, of physical and artistic education… close to the church, crowed every Sunday, and the hall for catechism, there was also a gym and a little theater…For 35 years the Sauli Club was a seed-bed of good citizens fervent in the love of the Country and of the Church, who climbed to public government…

 All of this without mentioning the efforts and hardships it cost to good Father… More painful than the financial were the moral difficulties. Because not all understood these new forms of action, and some in good faith, others for puny passions, either were counting the sympathy or were abundant with contrasts and mistrust. The soul of the delicate Father suffered but did not get discouraged, did not slow down the action. He was as strong man ready to make a treasure of the counsels by all, caring for the orders by the Superiors. And these loved him, encouraged him, even though not all was perfect, even though the maximum hoped results were not achieved…
  Genoa and the Sauli Club did not absorb him in this period of his life, without leaving him room for his apostolic zeal in sacred preaching. He used to go out for Lent, and climbed the most celebrated pulpits of the Peninsula. Outside Lent, in Liguria there was not a fiesta, famous church, or Shrine which did not have him as a most appreciated orator, besides many conferences...

 One day, when the harvest he had sown was ripen in the field he had tilted laboriously for so many years, obedience called him to Naples… for many years he governed the Bianchi college, and for a longer time he governed the entire Province… He revived the source of the religious life with the Minor Seminary. He strengthened it morally, financially.. and he had the joy to give it a new and stable see in Arpino… His image remains fixed in my heart like that of a man who in the name of God, for His cause, for the good of souls, was powerful in words and deeds.”

April 18

BROTHER LEOPOLD RIPAMONTI
Zealous infirmarian
(1687-1758)

 This Brother personified the Good Samaritan of the Gospel with his pious care of the sick during his fifty years as a religious. Born in Milan in 1687, when 23 Bro. Leopold joined the Barnabites in St. Barnabas. After five years he entered the novitiate in Monza. His first assignment was in St. Alexander but for only a short time, as he was called to St. Barnabas to be the infirmarian for the rest of his life.
 Gifted with great virtue, and enriched by a powerful intelligence, he learned fast how to prepare medicines according to the various needs of the sick.  At that time the Community was composed of 70 to 80 members, so we can imagine the average of sick people around the clock. All of them enjoyed the most loving care by the great charity and patience of Bro. Leopold. His only past time was to spend few minutes in church in front of the Blessed Sacrament and in front of some image of the Blessed Mother. He died on April 18, 1758, at the age of 71.


April 22

BISHOP JOHN JEROME DELLA TORRE
Bishop of Sarzana
(1679-1757)

 Born from a noble family in Genoa, on April 26, 1679, Bishop Della Torre entered the Barnabites very young. He professed his vows in St. Bartholomew on January 6, 1695, in the hands of his uncle, Fr. Ambrose Spinola. After his studies in Milan and Rome, he was ordained a priest in 1703. From 1704 to 1711 he taught philosophy in Udine, and then in Perugia. In both places he integrated his teaching apostolate with preaching.

 In 1716 he was elected Superior of St. Paul in Campetto in Genoa, dedicating himself totally to the ministerial apostolate. The Archbishop, Cardinal Fieschi, made him his theologian and synodal examiner, while the Holy office named him a consultor.
 Meantime his uncle Fr. Spinola had become Bishop of Sarzana, and by now he was advanced in age, so he asked Pope Benedict XIII to elect as his successor his nephew, Fr. Della Torre. The Pope accepted and consecrated him in the Sistine Chapel on July 1, 1726.
 It would be too long to describe his accomplishments as a Bishop. He took special care of the diocesan seminary, invited the Vincentians to open a school and to hold regular missions, and in 1735 he consecrated the church of the Abbey of St. Peter in Massa Carrara which later became the Cathedral.

 As a character he was very meek and humble, sincere and open, but also firm and determined with great stamina. He was also easy to get angry, but fast to self control. In one occasion, unable to convince a parish priest to follow his directives, he grabbed him by the shoulders, causing the priest to raise his arms in self defense, but as the Bishop realized what was happening he fell on his knees to ask for pardon and absolution.

 Fr. Semeria described him as “A man of great intelligence, singular prudence, and most perfect piety.” He encountered plenty of difficulties and problems, which he was able to overcome with his meekness, gentleness, and prudence. Indeed he was loved by all, the intellectuals as well as the most poor, priests and lay-people. After 31 years as a Bishop, at the age of 78, he died in the Lord on April 22, 1757.


April 22

FATHER CYPRIAN ALEXANDER FILLOUX
Exemplar Religious
(1850-1917)

 As a young boy, Fr. Filloux attended the Barnabite school in Gien. He pursued his studies to become a notary public, until he was drafted by the army during the French-Prussian war of 1870. At the end of the war and of his military service he went back to his studies. Being in contact with the Barnabites he developed a desire for religious life and finally he asked for admission.

 In 1877 he entered the novitiate in Aubigny, then finished his studies in Rome, reaching ordination in 1881. For the first two years he taught in Gien, and became director of Religious Instruction for the Confraternity of the Angels. In 1885, together with other confreres, he went to Monza for the Solemn Profession. Back in Gien he became also Superior of the Minor Seminary, a post he held until the expulsion of all religious from France. He was assigned to Brussels, in Belgium, where he spent the rest of his life.

 His health was not the greatest, but he worked diligently and persistently in the assignments entrusted to him. He was humble and faithful in regular observance. He died in Brussels on April 22, 1917, at the age of 67.


April 24

FATHER SEBASTIAN GIRIBALDI
Moral theologian
(1643-1720)


 
 Fr. Sebastian Giribaldi has been one of the greatest moral theologians in the history of the Church, quoted extensively even by Benedict XIV and by St. Alphonsus de Liquori.

 He was born in Portomaurizio, in 1643, from a family which had already given a member to the Congregation: Fr. Maurice Giribaldi, Superior General of the Order. When 16, he was one of two novices to inaugurate the new Novitiate of St. Bartholomew in Genoa. He professed the vows on January 2, 1661, and finished his theological studies in Milan. He taught philosophy and theology in Milan, Macerata and Bologna, gaining immediately a great esteem as a theologian.

 From 1677 to 1693, he participated in all the General Chapters. In 1677 he was elected Superior of St. Paul in Bologna; in 1683, Assistant for Tuscany; in 1692 he was Superior of St. Charles in Rome.

 Fr. Boffito describes his activity in Bologna: “In October 1693, Fr. Giribaldi came to this college (St. Paul) from Rome, and he would stay here for the rest of his life, very dear to the Cardinal Archbishop James Boncompagni… In 1698 he participated in the diocesan Synod… as theologian and examiner… in 1717 he drafted and organized the Rules and Constitutions for the Augustinian Nuns…. The same year he was delegated by the Archbishop for the recognition of the relics of St. Rosalia… Many other tasks he performed in an outstanding manner to the advantage of the whole city… The Archbishop entrusted to Fr. Giribaldi all the marriage cases, and all the cases dealing with ecclesiastical immunity; he himself would not do anything without having consulted Fr. Sebastian… “

 In 1720, on April 28, at the age of 77, after becoming seriously sick and comforted by all the sacraments, Father gave his last breath.
 Although extremely busy, Fr. Giribaldi was able to dedicate plenty of time to his studies producing many publications, widely consulted at his time and after.


April 27

BISHOP CHARLES PHILIP MEIO
Bishop of Bisignano
(1600-1664)

 Bishop Meio was born in Lucca in 1600. He entered the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God and was ordained a priest. Later, in 1630, with a dispensation by Urban VIII, he entered the Barnabite Congregation in the Zagarolo novitiate, professing the vows on February 9, 1635.

 At first he was assigned to Pavia, then to St. Alexander in Milan, becoming a well known preacher. In 1637 he was in Pisa as preacher and confessor, and then in Spoleto as Superior, to move on to Pescia in 1657. In the October of the same year he was transferred to Livorno, but shortly after he receive notification of his nomination as Bishop at first of Alife, then of Bisignano. He was consecrated on July 8, 1658.

 He lasted only six years, giving himself totally and completely to his pastoral duties with generosity and priestly zeal. He died on April 27, 1664.


April 29

FATHER PETER BONCOMPAGNI
Exemplar religious in the Bearn
(1594-1652)

 Fr. Peter was born in Rome, in 1594, from a family which had given to the Church many illustrious men. When 18 he entered the Barnabite Congregation, pronouncing his vows in Zagarolo in 1613.

 He was assigned to the newly opened mission in the Bearn, in Southern France. He was the one to open inaugurate in Lescar a theological course to help fight against the Protestant ideas so widely spread in the region. The lectures, together with sound preaching and zealous apostolate, produced abundant fruits among those people. He worked tirelessly for 15 years.

 In 1633 he participated in the General Chapter, and he delivered the sermon for the good election of the Superior General. The Chapter assigned him to the Roman Province. He was in various communities as a teacher and often as Superior. In 1644 Urban VIII asked him to evangelize the towns around Rome: Ostia, Albano, Tivoli, etc.

 His last assignment was in St. Mary’s Portanova in Naples, where he died on April 29, 1652, at the age of 58: “Fr. Peter Boncompagni, from Rome… was an excellent Religious and a worthy member of the Congregation, not only for exemplary life, but for the work endured in teaching philosophy, and for many years evangelizing the people though preaching; and this although he was aged and sick. Rather, as he finished the Lenten sermon in St. Mary’s Portanova, while on his way back to Rome, he was called by God to a better Country, the heavenly one, full of years and of merits.”


April 30

BROTHER JOHN PAUL LUPI
An exemplar simple man
(1537-1601)

 Bro. Lupi entered the Congregation was he was 40 years old, in 1582, professing the vows in the hands of Fr. Tornielli.
 He was a great worker, enemy of idleness, using every second of his time for the good of the Community, according to his assignments. As a good religious he knew to accompany his work always with prayer, detached from the world, concentrated on the things of God.

 His memory, as of many other Brothers, is a great treasure of the Congregation, ‘for the great examples of virtue left behind,… for his industry in favor of the Congregation, until he changed this life with the blessed one in heaven.”

 He died in St. Barnabas, where he had spent the whole of his life, on April 30, 1601, at the age of 64, after 16 years as a religious.

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