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 - August

I am very sure that the spirit of St. Paul is not yet extinguished in the heart of his sons...

Ah, if they would know how well disposed are the people of Pegù and of Burma to embrace the faith of Christ, I am sure that many literate men would leave their studies... If for once they would taste the sweetness of the heavenly delights which with similar efforts are enjoyed, I am sure that many of these students would come to apply their forces and their genius to help this people.

The invitation is not mine but of the great Apostle of the Indies. To live and to die happy I lack nothing but to divide or to leave to my brothers in Jesus Christ the field that by His Vicar on earth has been entrusted to our sweat, and indeed if needed, to our blood.

(Bishop Paul Nerini, Letter to Father General, 1753)

  AUGUST

 1    August
- 1647    Father EPIPHANIUS FERRARI (1610-1647), one of four brothers to become Barnabites. He died victim of the pestilence in Genoa.
 
 3   August
- 1559    Father PAUL MELSO (1500-1559), 5th Superior General (1558-67).
- 1604    By order of the Senate of Milan the house in Montù is given back to the Barnabites.
 
 4   August
- 1794    Bishop CAJETAN MANTEGAZZA (1745-1794), Apostolic Vicar in Ava-Pegù.
- 1976    Father PETER MORINI (1913-1976), Parish Priest of St. Balmazzo in Turin, and professor of natural sciences in  Moncalieri.
 
 5   August
- 1928   Father FELIX FIORETTI (1850-1928), 64th Superior General.
- 1965    Father MARIO SCALITI (1896-1965), a Man of great balance and wisdom, dedicated his life to our school in Trani.
 
 6   August
- 1549    Paul III decrees that the Angelic Sisters will depend directly from the Barnabites.
- 1666    Father ANDREW CUTTICA (1606-1666), 22nd Superior General.
  
 7   August
- 1806    Father CANDIDO CARNEVALI (1735-1806), an ascetic man, a theologian, an excellent religious.
- 1970    Father GERARD DALLE (1909-1970), for 25 years parish priest in Paris; director of the Catholic Action in Brussels and Mouscron, director of the “Petite Review de l’Enfant Jesus.”
 
 8   August
- 1849    Father UGO BASSI (1801-1849), a soldier of the Italian Independence and a Priest of Jesus Christ.
 
 9   August
- 1559    Father JOSEPH CONTARINI (1516-1559), one of the first vocations from Venice.
- 1756    Brother Angel Capello (1704-1756), Doctor of the King of Pegù in Burma.
 
10  August
- 1713    Bishop JOHN BAPTIST VISCONTI (1642-1713), Bishop of Novara.
 
11  August
- 1756    Father PAUL NERINI (1711-1756), Apostolic Vicar in Ava and Pegù.
 
12  August
- 1802    Cardinal JACINT SIGISMONDO GERDIL (1718-1802), Great philosopher and theologian of the 1700’s.
 
13  August
- 1968    Father LOUIS MANZINI (1875-1968), he dedicated his life to the study of the first memoirs of the Congregation and of the first Fathers. He served the Church and the faithful with his writings, works, and example.
 
14  August
- 1638    Father BARTOLOMEO GAVANTI (1569-1638), one of the most famous liturgist of the Church.
- 1649    Father LUDOVIC MONDRONE (1603-1649), Great mathematician.
- 1683    Father FERDINAND HAUCK (1606-1683), First German Superior of St. Michael in Vienna.
 
15  August
- 1542    The Countess Paola (Ludovica) Torelli with Lady Giulia Sfondrati Picenardi undertakes the Verona mission.
- 1551    St. Alexander Sauli receives the habit in St. Barnabas.
 
17  August
- 1816    Pius VII re-establishes the Order of the Barnabites after the Napoleonic suppression.
 
20  August
- 1629    Father JOHN ALEXANDER FERRARI (1582-1629), Novice Master of the Venerable Canale.
 
21  August
- 1537    Conclusion of the second process against the Paulines with total absolution.
- 1630    Nine Fathers, eight Brothers, six professed students die victims of the pestilence in Cremona.
- 1845    Father LUIGI UNGARELLI (1779-1845), Biblical scholar and exegete.
- 1903    The first Barnabites, coming from France, land in Brazil.
 
22  August
- 1928   Father ORAZIO PREMOLI (1864-1928), Historian of the Congregation
 
23  August
- 1905   Father MAURICE C. LODEWYCH (1881-1905), First Barnabite to die in Brazil.
 
25  August
- 1595   Father TITUS DEGLI ALESSI (1520-1595), touched on the forehead by St. Anthony Mary, became one of his companions.

26  August
- 1544    Father CAMILLO NEGRI (1509-1544), Brother of Paola Antonia Negri, one of the first five members of the Order.
 
28  August
- 1661    Bishop MANSUETO MERATI (1589-1661), Bishop of Acerra.
 
29  August
- 1823    Father LOUIS GRONDONA (1746-1823), Missionary in Burma.
 
30  August
- 1774    Father PIUS MANZADOR (1706-1774), 39th Superior General
- 1927    Father ALBERT DUBOIS (1849-1927), A champion of the devotion to Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence.
- 1947    Archbishop MARIO GIARDINI (1877-1947), Master of novices, parish priest in St. Charles, Apostolic Delegate in Japan, Archbishop of Ancona.
 
31  August
- 1915    Father PETER ROSATI (1834-1915), A poet and scholar.
- 1926     After the rebirth and return to active life, first General chapter of the Angelic Sisters in Milan.

 

  

August 1
FATHER EPIFANIO FERRARI
One of four Barnabite brothers, victim of the pestilence 
(1610-1647)

 

Fr. Ferrari was one of four brothers who became Barnabites. At 16 he entered the novitiate in Monza and professed his vows on December 27, 1627.

He studied at St. Alexander in Milan and, after the 1630 pestilence, theology in Cremona. During these years he manifested his great oratorical skill. In 1635 as a deacon he delivered the eulogy for the Superior of the Servites.

He was ordained in 1636. He stayed in Cremona for three years as a most requested preacher. In Montua he delivered the eulogy for St. Charles Borromeo, “with such applause that his highness the Duke kept him there for a month to preach in the cathedral for all the feast days, with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.” His next assignment was in Genoa, where, in 1642, he published two volumes entitled “Today’s preaching reduced to concepts,” and the following year, “The triumphant Liguria,” to describe and praise the many victories scored by the Ligurians through the centuries. He had prepared also a “Bellum ligusticul romanum,” which was not published probably because of the pestilence.

After sometime he passed to Asti, and in 1647 he was elected Superior in Chieri. His major activity was always preaching. In 1653 he was transferred to Naples as Superior of St. Mary’s in Portanuova. Cardinal Ascanio Filomeno gave him immediately all faculties to hear confessions, and selected him to be one of the eight preachers for the feast of St. Januarius.

In 1654 while preaching in Charles in Rome, he was requested by the Dominicans to preach in Naples in honor of their martyrs buried in the local catacombs. He was also an excellent Superior. He was able to bring a sense of peace and tranquility in the community.

In 1656 he went to Milan for the General Chapter, which accepted the church of St. Bartholomew in Genoa. The new foundation was entrusted to Fr. Epifanio. While in Genoa, a pestilence spread all over the city. Unafraid of the danger, Fr. Ferrari gave himself body and soul to the care of the victims, and he fell victim of his zeal on August 1, 1657.

 

 

August 3

FATHER PAUL MELSO
5th Superior General
(1500-1559) 
 

Fr. Melso was born in Urbino from a Friulane family. After his graduation in Law at the University of Padua, he became a prestigious lawyer and he was even elected president of the Tribunal in Vicenza. In Pavia he came in contact with the Holy Founder and his companions. Moved by their preaching, eventually he decided to join them. The resistance by our first Fathers to accept him did not deter him. He persisted in his request and finally was called to Milan to prove his vocation. After three months he finally was admitted into the Order.

He received the habit in 1543 at the age of 42. He professed his vows on December 24, and the same day he was ordained a priest. He impressed so well the Fathers with his wisdom and solid virtues, that a year later he was elected a descreet and also confessor of the Sisters of St. Paul. In 1546 Fr. Melso became Master of novices. His love for the Congregation was put to the test by a hard trial caused by the expulsion of the Paulines from the Venetian territories in 1551. Fathers Besozzi and Melso were sent to Rome to clarify the situation. But as soon as they reached Rome, they were thrown into prison by the Inquisition. They were freed on March 1552, through the influence of powerful friends, like St. Ignatius of Loyola, but they had to leave under custody in the house of Basil Ferrari.

His holiness and his many skills convinced the General Chapter of 1558 to elect him Superior General.

Fr. Melso had a great common sense and balance in everything. Eager to see the Congregation develop he bought land in Cernusco and Zuccone. At the same time, to insure its stability he refused a hospital in Pavia, a house in Rome and in Valtellina, and a mission in Sondrio.

  In 1559 he went to Genoa with Fr. Soresina for a new foundation, invited by the relatives of St. Alexander Sauli. There he fell victim of a very high fever on August 3, 1559.

Dominic Sauli, St. Alexander’s father, wrote to Fr. Lainez, SJ: “Fr. Melso was a very good lawyer, skilled in liberal arts, and a very good preacher, and, most of all, he was a man of a very holy life, sweet in conversation, and very prudent in handling situations.”

 

 

August 4

BISHOP GAETANO MANTEGAZZA
Apostolic Vicar in Ava-Pegù
 (1745-1794)

 

Bishop Mantegazza closed the series of Barnabites who served the Church in the Burma mission.  Born in Milan on April 11, 1745, he was baptized as Caesar. On October 25, 1760 he entered the novitiate in Monza, and at the end of his studies he was ordained a priest in Milan.

When 26, in 1771, together with Fr. Marcello Cortenovis, he was assigned to the mission in Burma. After a perilous and long trip, he finally reached the mission in 1772. Bishop Percoto assigned him to Kiandra-rua. In a short time he was able to learn the local language and so he was able dedicate himself to the teaching apostolate. This caused a bitter persecution by the native Talapuins as they saw their school deserted.

At the death of Bishop Percoto, documents were found appointing Fr. Gerard Cortenovis as the new Apostolic Vicar. He wrote to the Propagation of Faith in Rome asking to appoint Fr. Mantegazza instead, “a religious of great virtues, and, although the youngest, the one who supported all our hopes.”  But before the letter could reach Rome, his official appointment arrived and was consecrated Bishop of Sozopolis. He asked, then, to appoint Fr. Mantegazza as his auxiliary bishop: “Behold the man who is the perfect candidate as Bishop of the Ava mission. He speaks well the language, is like an angel by his conduct, he is full of zeal, and capable in the conversion of the infidels.” Meantime, the first letter had reached Rome, and even before they would receive the second letter they decided to appoint Fr. Mantegazza as an auxiliary bishop. Bishop Cortenovis expressed his joy: “Full of joy I return in the Mission to consecrate the said Father; he is a thousand times more worthy than me of the episcopal dignity.” Unfortunately he collapsed before he could reach back to his mission and carry on his dream.

Fr. Mantegazza was having a rough time in Kiandra-rua as he was attacked by the Talapuins and by two renegades, and he had to appear in front of a tribunal to defend himself.

The death of Bishop Cortenovis was followed by the one of Fr. Mazzucchelli, while Fr. Micone, seriously ill, went back to Italy. Meantime the news from Europe was very sad with the anticlerical movements sweeping over Europe. The Superiors, short of personnel, were seriously considering pulling out of the Burma mission. Since two more missionaries, Fr. D’Amato and Fr. Sangermano, had arrived, Fr. Mantegazza went to Italy, reaching Rome in 1784, accompanied by two converts. He asked the Propagation to publish for the first time the Burmese alphabet and a catechism in that language. In November 1786 he was consecrated a Bishop in Vercelli. In January 1787, accompanied by two new missionaries, Fr. Azimonti and Fr. Buttironi, and his two converts, he sailed for Burma, reaching home on February 9, 1788.

He was heartbroken by the situation he found. Of the seven missionaries he had left, three had died, and only a year later the two who had come with him died too. His only consolation was that in the meantime he had ordained four natives.

After sometime in Ava, he went to Bassin. In 1794, at the end of the Burmese war, he started a visit of all the Christian communities. Overwhelmed by work he collapsed after 22 years dedicated to that mission. He died on August 4, 1794 in Amarapura, at the age of 49.

Fr. D’Amato gave this eulogy in Burmese: “Bishop G. Mantegazza for love of God left his native country, relatives, friends, and everything: he was not afraid to face the dangers of a long and painful navigation: and as soon as he arrived in the midst of numerous deprivations, he started to preach the law of Jesus Christ, to teach to all the way of heaven… As a bishop he continued to work as before, and even more, as he visited the Christian communities… and because he exposed himself too much to the dangers, the hot sun, rains, and deprivations, he got so sick that he died. You know well the resignation with which he did withstand the sickness and death. It was the death of a just man.”

 

 

August 5

FATHER FELIX FIORETTI
64th Superior General
Parish Priest and professor of natural sciences
(1850-1928)

 

Fr. Fioretti was born in Milan on May 28, 1850. His family was a member of our parish of St. Alexander. As a young boy he was sent to our school of St. Mary’s of the Angels in Monza. In 1867, after his graduation, he asked to be admitted in our Congregation, so he went back to Milan for the novitiate, professing his vows on December 23, 1868. He studied theology in Monza, and was ordained a priest on January 21, 1872.

His first assignment was as assistant vice-rector at the St. Mary’s school, and as teacher of religion. In 1873 he was assigned to St. Barnabas in Milan to pursue his degree in Liberal Arts at the University of Turin. In 1874 he passed to Lodi always busy with his studies but also teaching Latin and Greek. Finally in 1878 he received his degree in Liberal Arts followed by the one in Philosophy the year after. Meanwhile, for 12 years he was the treasurer of the community. Together with teaching he kept busy with the confessional and the pulpit, and the administration of the school.

This was the time of the Rosminian controversy when the 40 Rosminian propositions were condemned. Fr. Fioretti too was accused, therefore in 1889 he was transferred to Rome.  There he became Vicar and secretary of the Superior General, and General administrator. He was then sent to Moncalieri (Turin), where he would teach, be administrator and also the Rector. In 1896 he became parish priest of St. Martin in Asti, and the Bishop made him Synodal examiner. In 1898 he was elected Provincial Superior of Piedmont-Liguria, and at the death of Father General Magnanghi, he was elected Superior General (1904).

He governed the Congregation with skill and strength, emphasizing regular observance and holiness. He did his canonical visitations also in Austria, and supported the expansion of the Congregation in South America and in Europe. He founded houses in Kain (Belgium), Gioia del Colle and Voghera, the minor seminaries in San Giorgio a Cremano (Naples) and in Perugia.

In 1905, at the death of Fr. Baravelli, he was named consultor for the Sacred Congregation of the Rites for the causes of beatification.

He served also as Superior in our two communities in Rome, as Assistant and Procurator General. He was requested as confessor by many religious communities. He was 78 when, on August 5, 1928, the Lord called him to himself.

 

 

August 6

FATHER ANDREW CUTTICA
22nd Superior General
(1606-1666)

 

 Fr. Cuttica was born in Milan in 1606. He received our habit in Monza in 1622. After his philosophical studies in Milan, and theology in Pavia, he was ordained a priest in 1632. His destinations were Lodi, Bologna, Rome. He was in Lodi for 12 years as teacher of philosophy, scholastic and morality. He was well appreciated in the city as a scholar and a teacher, and the Bishop used him in his Curia for the tribunal and the penitentiary.

Fr. Cuttica showed a special predilection for the poor, reaching out to them especially through his simple preaching. Since from 1638 to 1641 he was also Superior and so unable to reach out to the poor in the country sides, he used Fr. Thomas Mignatta as his special helper to carry out this task, while he limited himself to the convents in the city. Fr. Falconio, during a canonical visit, praised him publicly for the order, peace, and work done by the community.

On September 11, 1645, he became rector of the Penitentiary in Bologna. This is how Fr. Gallico describes his activity: “He traveled a lot for the good of the Congregation, and with heart, solicitude, faithfulness, he gave good example in each of his ministries as superior, as rector of the Penitentiary in Bologna, where, especially in the palace of the Archbishop, he left a great reputation for his goodness, judgment, wisdom, and ability in dealing with ecclesiastical matters.”

The Congregation too profited from his counsels and especially his general administration when its guide was entrusted to him. He exercised his duties for three years, with diligence, faith and carefulness toward the interests of the Congregation.

In 1662 and in 1665, in Rome, when the General Curia had been moved by order of Alexander VII, he was elected Superior General. He gave himself totally to his task, but his sickly constitution did not withstand the effort, and in the midst of his term he died on August 6, 1666. Besides caring for the regular discipline, he made sure to increase the revenues to provide more subjects to serve God and the neighbor. He pushed the ongoing construction of St. Alexander in Milan, just as the one of St. Charles in Rome.

Fr. Pezzi wrote about him: “Fr. Andrew Cuttica, Superior General, with a very bad health, consumed by his work, having received the last Sacraments, died with great serenity and holiness, in our house in Rome, on August 6, 1666, at the age of 60, having spent 43 of them, with great praise, in the Congregation, outstanding for his virtues as a Christian and as a Religious.”

 

 

August 8

FATHER UGO BASSI
A soldier for the Independence of Italy
(1801-1849)

 

Fr. Ugo Bassi met Giuseppe Garibaldi on March 3, 1848 in Rieti at the time of the “Roman Republic.” Few weeks later Fr. Bassi wrote to the Leonese family in Bologna: “In Rieti the reception given me by Garibaldi was more than I expected. Garibaldi is a hero worthy of a poem more than I thought. Our souls met like if they were sisters in heaven before walking together on earth. We are at the vigil of war...” In another letter: “Garibaldi: this is the hero my soul has been searching for. As soon as we met our souls loved each other as sisters.”

Garibaldi never forgot Ugo Bassi. This is how he remembered him in Bologna on August 16, 1859: “Bassi joined the first Italian Legion in Rieti. Chief chaplain of the Roman army, he wanted to serve as a soldier. Courageous man, he would be in the battle without arms, preferring a fiery horse, as he was a strong and agile rider. In the battle his primary care was the transportation of the wounded. His words of encouragement were often heard on the battle field.  Bassi’s chest was decorated with many wounds. His clothes were full of bullet holes. My helper in many scrimmages, I could hardly keep him by me.”

 Who was Ugo Bassi?

 My great delight is to forgive

 He was born in Cento (Ferrara, Italy) on August 12, 1801. He studied in Bologna with the Scolopes, and then with the Barnabites at the Santa Lucia school. His baptismal name was Joseph, but he changed in Ugo because of his admiration for the Italian poet Ugo Foscolo. He received many awards, especially in Grammar, Humanities and Rhetoric. He wanted to become a Barnabite. His studies were excellent but he was tormented by a mental illness throughout his youth. He was also tormented by that mixture of ingenuity and passion which would be the problem of his adult life.

When 18, he was admitted to our novitiate in Naples, but, since the vows could not be professed in the Kingdom of Naples, he went to Rome for his profession, which took place on January 29, 1821, and he was ordained a priest in Rome in 1824.

He loved poetry and music. He played organ, flute, violin, guitar, and cymbals. He composed a Mass for four voices and 22 instruments which was performed in our church of “St. Mary’s a Caravaggio” in Naples by the leading musicians of the city.

In 1828 he started his favorite apostolate, preaching. Fr. Joseph De Ruggero wrote: “His great attraction was for deep emotions and the ones he was experiencing on the pulpit would inflame his soul and fill him with tremendous enthusiasm. And so the power of his extraordinary genius was in full evidence in front of the crowds, which, drawn by his personality, his harmonious voice, his elegance, would run to listen to him and would stay deeply attached to him.”

But this is what became Fr. Bassi’s cross, a cross he had to carry all over the most important cities of Italy: Genoa, Turin, Alexandria, Bologna, Perugia, Naples. Already in 1834, in Turin, his liberal views, which attracted many young people, almost caused his expulsion from Piedmont. The following year, in Bologna, speaking about the pagan Rome he infuriated the Apostolic Delegate, Cardinal Spinola, who was present. The allusions to the papal Rome were too evident. By order of Father General he had to appear in front of Pope Gregory XVI, “who received him in a very human way,” but encouraged him to be careful in his preaching.

This was nothing in comparison with what was going to come. Fr. Bassi did not just make allusions but his preaching took very patriotic tones, and the conservatives joined forces against him. It was a great honor for the Barnabites to have a confrere, Cardinal Lambruschini, as secretary of State for Pope Gregory XVI, but it was a great disaster for Fr. Bassi.  The difficulties were increasing and there was a need for a permanent solution.

Fr. Ramenghi, who always defended Fr. Bassi, wrote to Fr. General: “It is futile, I think, to hope in the Pope, because, as you well know, he signs with Lambruschini’s hand’.”

The prohibition to preach in Bologna, the expulsion from Perugia in the middle of a novena, the exile from the Barnabite community of St. Severino, the expulsion from the Pontifical States, the prohibition to hear confessions were all stations of the cross that led him to Calvary.

Fr. Bassi’s reactions were different: fluctuating from the temptation to leave the Barnabites (“I would... leave the Barnabites, who do not know how to want me!”) and the most evangelical resignation, “My great delight is to forgive and I feel that the will of the Lord is sweet as a triumph.”

  •  A beautiful heart Fr. Bassi!

At the election of Pius IX, Fr. Bassi supported with enthusiasm the program of the new Pope. Pius IX during an audience looked for Fr. Bassi, and “it was Fr. Bassi to speak most of the time. He talked about Italy and he recommended it to him almost as a daughter.” The Pope talking to a monsignor said, “What a beautiful heart Fr. Bassi has!”

This parenthesis of enthusiasm with Pius IX was a short one. On April 29, 1848, the Pope declared that the papal cause was a totally separate one from the Italian. What followed was an avalanche of events. During the war against Austria, Fr. Bassi was a chaplain in the papal army with the specific mission to look after the priests. He stayed with the soldiers, was wounded in Treviso, took active part in the Roman Republic, was made chaplain of the Garibaldi legion by Mazzini, stayed with Garibaldi and the few survivors of the set back from Rome to Venice.

In Comacchio, on August 4, 1849, Fr. Bassi was taken prisoner by the Austrians. During the interrogation he answered: “I have no other crime but that of being an Italian.” In the house where he was captured there is a plaque which reads: “Guilty to love Christ and Italy.”

 He was taken to the Austrian Headquarters in Bologna, where he met his desolate sister Carlotta; embracing her he consoled her: “Why are you in distress, dear sister? I have accomplished my mission. I am not guilty… I have assisted the dying on the field, and I did not deny my help to the very enemy.” He was condemned to death without trial. General Gorkowsky hurried to carry on the sentence, which had not even been proclaimed. Fr. Ugo Bassi was executed on August 8, 1849, after having received the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and expressed his regret for whatever he might had done offensive to his Religion. His last words were: “I ask pardon to all and I forgive all: I recommend Religion and I am so happy to die in peace under the wings of Our Lady of St. Luke” (the Marian Shrine dominating the city of Bologna).

The people of Bologna noticed that August 8 was the first anniversary of the Austrian outset from the city (August 8, 1848). The Austrians needed to “normalize” the Pontifical State. They needed to show that indeed there was order in the city of Bologna.

The legend of Fr. Ugo Bassi started: the opinions and judgments have winged to the two extremes, “Mason of the Concordia Lodge of Bologna,” “Savonarola of the XIX century!” Giosuè Carducci, a distinguished Italian poet, called him, “Citizen of Italy, and a Priest of Christ.”

 

 

August 9

FATHER JOSEPH CONTARINI
One of the first vocations from Venice
(1516-1559)

 

Joseph Contarini came from a noble Venetian family. Very young he knocked at the door of St. Barnabas for admission. The Fathers gave him the following choices to prove his good intentions: either to serve in a hospital for some months or to dress in sackcloth, rope around the neck and, holding a cross, to go in the main square, or every day he had to go to the market for the community. We do not know what he chose, but whatever, he must have done it with enthusiasm because he was accepted immediately, and on March 11, 1545, Fr. Morigia gave him the habit at the presence of the Bishop of Tagaste, the Venetian Ambassador to Milan, and a large crowd.

During his novitiate he was ordained a priest, and he celebrated his first Mass on Christmas day. On the feast of the Assumption 1546, he professed his vows in the hands of Fr. Besozzi. In St. Barnabas he became a well appreciated preacher. In the community he was elected a discreet, and often the newcomers were entrusted to his care.

When our Congregation was expelled from the Venetian territories, there were all kinds of insinuations that he had given in to James Foscarini, the one responsible for the expulsion, and also that he had given in to those who, at the time of Angelic Paola Antonia Negri, had left the Congregation. These insinuations got the best of the man and so on February 19, 1553, he went to Venice and asked the Dominicans for admittance. But after a few months he regretted it and asked the Superiors in St. Barnabas for re-admittance. He received a negative answer. So he moved to Milan to stay with a friend and kept asking for re-admission, ready to accept any penance. The Chapter finally accepted him back after giving him a list of penances, which he did gladly.  For one year, once a moth, he had to appear in front of the Chapter to give an account of his life. Finally he was able to go back to his preaching, and he was even reelected as a discreet until 1559, when he died on August 9.

 

August 9

BROTHER ANGEL CAPELLO
Doctor of the King of Pegù in Burma.
 (1704-1756)

 

Brother Angel was born in Casaletto (Novara) in 1704. When 24 he asked for admission in the Romagna Province. He had his novitiate in Zagarolo and professed the vows in 1731. During this time he trained himself in medicine and surgery, as the Superiors wanted him to be a missionary.

He left for the mission of Ava and Pegù in Burma in February 1741, together with Bishop Gallizia, Fr. Nerini, Fr. Mondelli, and Fr. Del Conte. They reached Siriam in June of 1743.

His first assignment was with Fr. Nerini in Siriam, where he applied immediately his medical skills for the good of the people. When in March of 1745 Bishop Gallizia with Fr. Mondelli and Fr. Del Conte were massacred, Fr. Nerini ordered him to leave the country. He obeyed and after 14 months of dangerous navigation he reached Madras to join Fr. Nerini himself who had escaped too. On April 21, 1749 they both were able to go back to Siriam to restart the mission.

Of this period we have one of his letters addressed to Fr. Scipion Peruzzini, dated January 30, 1735: “I am writing to you since instead of bad news I can give good news, because it has pleased the Lord to bring our exile to an end, and to bring us back to our beloved Mission… The spirit of the mission? I have never seen so many baptisms like now… or so many catechumens, as many have come on their own to look for the missionary to be instructed in our holy religion,” then he begs Fr. Peruzzini for help.

The fame of Bro. Angel for his medical skill reached the king of Pegù who was sick, so he asked for him. His treatment was successful increasing the king’s good will toward the missionaries.

When the war broke out between the Burmese and the Kingdom of Pegù, Bro. Angel gave himself totally to the assistance of the wounded and dying. On August 9, 1756 while assisting the wounded he was hit and died after fifteen years of generous dedication to that mission.

 

 

August 10

BISHOP JOHN BAPTIST VISCONTI
Bishop of Novara
(1642-1713)

 

Francis Visconti was born in Milan in 1642 from the Count John Baptist and Lady Ippolita Confalonieri. He entered our novitiate in Monza on November 11, 1660, and took the name John Baptist. Two younger brothers followed his example and became Barnabites like him.

Having shown a scholarly ability for philosophy and theology, after his ordination in 1667, he was assigned to teach the two subjects to our Barnabite students. He explicated his knowledge and skill especially in Rome.

In 1677 the Superior General, Fr. Gabriel Fanti, made him Provincial Superior of Lombardy although he was only 35 years of age. In 1680 he was elected Assistant General so he transferred to Rome. His scholarly knowledge together with his prudence and bounty convinced Innocent XI to nominate him Bishop of Novara.

He was consecrated on May 31, 1688.  For an effective sanctification of his flock he concentrated on the formation of his seminarians. He took special care also of monasteries and convents, where he had to face some problems because of interference and injustices by lay administrators, to whom some of them were subjected. The same happened with the city hospital, with the Chapter of the Cathedral, and with the Friars minor. He made a careful visitation of the whole diocese, concluded with a diocesan Synod, which gave wise guidelines for an effective reform.

When in Rome for his ad limina visits, he would love to stay at St. Charles with old confreres and open his heart to his spiritual director, Fr. Anthony Burozzo.

Death surprised him at the age of 71, on August 10, 1713.

 

 August 11

FATHER PAUL ANTHONY NERINI
Apostolic Vicar in Ava and Pegù.
(1711-1756)

 

Fr. Nerini was born on November 1, 1711, from Francis Anthony and Marguerite Gallarini. He entered the novitiate in Monza and professed the vows on November 28, 1726.

After the ordination he was assigned to teach at the Arcimboldi school in Milan, and from 1733 to 1739 in Crema, distinguishing himself also as a preacher. Then he volunteered for the Burma mission.

He left Italy in 1741, together with five confreres. They reached Siriam in Pegù in 1743. For two years together with Bro. Angel Capello, he worked in peace and with great success in his mission in Siriam. But in March of 1745, eight German vessels arrived in the port. The Governor ordered Bishop Gallizia and Fr. Nerini to talk with the admiral and ask the reason for their presence. Their findings were not too pleasant. Evicted by the Moslems they were looking for a new colony to conquer. Bishop Gallizia, emphasizing this kind of injustice, convinced them not to invade the port and surrounding territory. The only thing they asked, then, was to pass the winter in the safety of the port. Everything was working to the satisfaction of all, when suddenly the Talapuin monks became suspicious and convinced the king of the Europeans’ bad intentions. Bishop Gallizia sent a letter to Fr. Nerini and Bro. Angel to run away. The king’s army attacked all Europeans who had found refuge in the jungle, and killed them all, including Bishop Gallizia, Fr. Mondelli, and Fr. Del Conte.

Fr. Nerini and Bro. Angel at first found refuge in Ava, where they stayed for eight months, then they split to be reunited fourteen months later in Madras, India. For four years they stayed in exile there waiting for better news and an opportunity to go back to their mission. Finally they were able to go back on April 21, 1749, to the delight of the population. During this time Fr. Nerini composed a grammar, a dictionary, a catechism, and a booklet of prayers in Burmese, especially to help the new missionaries. He opened a house for unmarried women, and one for young boys. He built also a beautiful stone church with the rectory, and created some residences for old folks.

Fr. Nerini got the news that four new missionaries were on their way from Rome to join him. They were also carrying papers from Benedict XIV appointing him Apostolic Vicar and Bishop. But that happiness ended in deep sorrow as all of them perished in a shipwreck.

The situation in the mission suddenly turned for the worst when another war broke out in Siriam. The city was besieged and collapsed. The church and the rectory were heavily damaged, but worst yet Fr. Nerini was condemned to death by decapitation. The soldiers, who were very fond of him, could not carry out the execution, so they brought to the king the head of some Portuguese man. But the trick did not work. The order was to arrest him immediately. This time the soldiers had no choice but first demanded free access to the church where all the women had found refuge. Fr. Nerini with great courage, stood at the door to block their way, but one of the soldiers struck him with his lance, then he was decapitated and his head was brought to the king. It was August 11, 1756.

 

 August 12

CARDINAL JACINT SIGISMONDO GERDIL
Great philosopher and theologian of the 1700’s.
 (1718-1802)

 

Jean-François Gerdil was born in 1718 in Samoëns (Savoy) from Pierre and Françoise Perrier. He studied in our schools in Bonneville, and Thonon, where his uncle Jean Gerdil was able to inculcate in him a great love for Mathematics. Then he attended the school of rhetoric and philosophy in Annecy.

He entered the novitiate in Bonneville in 1734, changing his name to Jacinth Sigismondo, and professed the vows the following year. Right away he was sent to Bologna for his theological studies. There he was able to learn well the Italian language under the guidance of Fr. Salvatore Corticelli. Taking advantage of his mother language, Cardinal Lambertini used him for the translation of many French texts he needed for his own juridical and liturgical works. It was Cardinal Lambertini to give him the Minor Orders on May 27, 1736 and on April 11, 1737.

At the end of his studies, the 20 year old seminarian was called to teach philosophy in Macerata. The Jesuit Fr. Cordara used to call him a “genius and new prodigy.”  In 1738 he was teaching in Casale Monferrato, until 1748, where he was also dean of studies. Meanwhile, in 1741 he was ordained a priest .

On September 16, 1749 he was nominated professor of philosophy at the University of Turin, and on September 26, 1754, he succeeded the Theatine Michael Casati in the chair of Moral Theology. The fame of his teaching and of literary and scientific production brought him to be listed as a member of the Institute of Science in Bologna (1749), of the Royal Society of London, of the Arcadia in Rome, and other institutions. In 1757 he was one of the first members of the “Private Society of Turin” (the future Royal Academy of Science of Turin). On September 21, 1758 he was selected as tutor of the first born of Vittorio Amedeo, the hereditary prince of Savoy, and later on July 13, 1768, also of the future Vittorio Emanuele I, and of Maurizio, Duke of Monferrato.

 Overworked by all his commitments, in 1759 he left teaching at the University. In 1764 the General Chapter elected him Provincial Superior of the Piedmont-Savoy Province, to be confirmed in 1767, and the following year he was almost elected Superior General.

In the Consistory of April 26, 1773, Clement XIV made him a Cardinal in pectore, but due to his death, it would be Pius VI to nominate him as a consultor of the Holy Office at first, then, on February 17, 1777, made him Bishop of Dibona. He was consecrated in St. Charles ai Catinari on March 2 by the Cardinal Vicar Marcantonio Colonna, and on June 23 his election as a Cardinal was made public, and was nominated Prefect of the Congregation of the Index. Meanwhile, the King of Sardinia nominated him Abbott of St. Michael della Chiusa and in 1781, also of the Abbey of Muleggio. The Cardinal became very much interested in the spiritual care of the two Abbeys while devolving their benefits to the care of the poor.

Between 1790 and 1794 Cardinal Gerdil was a member of the commission which prepared the Bull “Auctorem fidei” (August 28, 1794) which condemned the Synod of Pistoia, and presided or was a member in many other commissions. On February 27, 1795 he was nominated Prefect of Propaganda Fide.

When Rome was invaded by the French army (February 10, 1798), and Pope Pius VI moved to Siena, Cardinal Gerdil retired to Turin welcomed by his pupil Carlo Emanuele IV. At first he was a guest of the Oratorians, then he moved to St. Dalmazzo with the Barnabites. As the King abdicated, Cardinal Gerdil retired to the Abby of St. Michael. At the death of Pius VI, he traveled to Venice for the Conclave (1799-1800). Although in his eighties, because of the esteem as a theologian, a philosopher, but especially for his integrity and prudence, the Conclave looked at him as the new Pope, so he received right away a third of the votes but the objection of Cardinal Franz Herzan in the name of the Emperor of Austria blocked the election opening the way for Cardinal Barnabas Chiaramonti to become Pius VII (February 10, 1800).

Cardinal Gerdil returned to Rome at the service of the new Pope, guiding Propaganda Fide and leading the work for a possible Concordate with Napoleon. But by now he was in his eighties, and after a short illness he died in St. Charles on August 12, 1802. Pius VII affirmed that he himself “was the great looser at the death of Gerdil.”

Father Francesco Fontana (future Cardinal and Superior General) prepared the epigraph which today can be seen in St. Charles ai Catinari church: “To the memory... of Jacinth Sigismondo Gerdil, a Savoyard from Faucigny, a religious of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul, tutor of the King of Sardinia Carlo Emanuele IV, Cardinal of St. Cecilia, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide, leading metaphysic of his time, great physic, philologist and theologian, with modesty, sweetness, refined manners, disinterest, charity and other virtues he was at par with the immortal fame of his genius and doctrine he had gained in the whole world through numerous works in Latin, French and Italian, published against many various enemies of Religion which still today have not been surpassed. The Clerics Regular of St. Paul have put this epigraph in honor of the incomparable confrere...”

 

 

August 14

FATHER BARTOLOMEO GAVANTI
One of the most famous liturgist of the Church.
 (1569-1638)

 

Born in Milan in 1569, Bernardino Gavanti entered the novitiate in Monza and professed the vows on October 30, 1588, with the name Bartolomeo. He was ordained a priest on September 27, 1595, by Cardinal Federico Borromeo.

He became well known as an excellent preacher and the demands made him travel from city to city. Although busy with these commitments, he never missed the community regular discipline.

In the Congregation he promoted the art of preaching and of good government; he himself served the Order as Superior in various communities, and also as Provincial Superior and Assistant General.

But what he has become famous for is the Liturgy: “He became an expert with so much intelligence and worth that he gained the title of Master of Ceremonies with no equal.” Therefore, he became Consultor of the Congregation of Rites, especially after the publication of his commentaries to the Rubrics and the Missal, of the Breviary, and other works which “the printer could not stop printing and divulge all over Europe so that there is no church or sacristy which does not have something of Fr. Gavanti.”

Clement VIII and Urban VIII entrusted to him the revision of the Breviary and of the Missal. After he published the “Manual for Bishops,” he was requested by many of them to take part in visitations and Synods. We owe to Fr. Gavanti our own Barnabite book of ceremonies published in 1632.

“But this faithful servant did not spent the whole of his life in ceremonies or words, but he was very mortified giving good example, faithful to the choir and public ceremonies, although busy with his preaching. Among other mortifications he used to recite the Divine Office on his knees…”

He died on August 14, 1638, at the age of 68.

 

 

August 14

FATHER LUDOVIC MONDRONE
Great mathematician
(1603-1649)

 

Fr. Mondrone is on the long list of illustrious men of science which have enriched our Congregation. He was a passionate lover of astronomy.

Born in Milan in 1603, he was baptized as Charles. He was the first born of the Marquise Alexander, and a very large heredity was waiting him. Instead he decided to enter Religious Life, followed by other four brothers. He professed his vows on January 10, 1621 together with one of his brothers. He did his studies in St. Alexander, in Cremona and in Pavia. After his ordination he was assigned at the Arcimboldi school in Milan to teach Philosophy.

During the pestilence of 1630, together with his brother Fr. Adriano, he dedicated himself to the assistance of the victims. After a while, they were so exhausted and sick themselves, that they were ordered to retire in Besate, their parents place, for a quarantine. Once back in shape they dedicated themselves, with the permission of Fr. General Cavalcani, to teach catechism.

At the end of the pestilence he was assigned to Lodi first and then to Cremona to take care of our students. In 1632 he was in Montù, and then we find him in Novara (1633-34).

For the following six years we have no records of his whereabouts. In 1641 he was Rector of the Penitentiary in Bologna, while teaching theology to our students in St. Paul It was here that he studied astronomy, and published two volumes. In the October of 1645 he was back in Lodi always as a teacher, confessor and preacher. But his days were coming to an end.

He died on August 14, 1549, at the age of 46.

 

 August 14

FATHER FERDINAND HAUCK
First German Superior of St. Michael in Vienna.
 (1606-1683)

 

As a young man he left his homeland to join the Barnabites in Milan. He entered the novitiate in Monza and professed the vows on January 27, 1627. After his ordination he went back to Germany to teach the Barnabite students. In Vienna he was the first Barnabite to preach in our church of St. Michael, because the other Fathers were still all Italian who had to call on guest preachers for important events. He became well known and appreciated both in Vienna and in Prague, invited by the Bishop to be also one of the counselors of the consistory. He was the first German to become Superior of St. Michael in Vienna, and of St. Benedict in Prague. He became also vice-Provincial.

Fr. Torelli tells us about Fr. Hauck’s activity with the Protestant reformers: “He became famous for his mission in Slesia for the conversion of heretics. For many months he dedicated himself to them with great zeal and good for those souls using the energy characteristic of a man of great value, so that when he left, many missed him as a most beloved Father.”

He dedicated himself also to the translation and the printing of many religious books. He died in Vienna on August 14, 1683, at the age of 78.

 

August 20

FATHER JOHN ALEXANDER FERRARI
Novice Master of the Venerable Canale.
(1582-1629)

 

In our tradition the name of Fr. John Alexander Ferrari is very familiar because he was the novice master of the Venerable Canale, and because of his deep devotion to Our Lady. While studying theology in Pavia he asked to enter our Congregation, professing his vows on December 25, 1612. Three years later he was ordained a priest.

After one year in Pavia, he was assigned to St. Paul in Genoa, and then in Acqui and in Vigevano. In 1624 he is in Monza as Superior and novice Master. Among his novices are the Venerable Canale and the Venerable Pane. In the first three years he accepted 36 clerics and 19 Brothers, and in the following three years, 57 clerics and 18 Brothers.

  Fr. Torelli wrote: “By nature, Fr. Ferrari was enriched with a beautiful mind, good spirit, and inclination to piety. As soon as he became a religious, although there were many virtuous members among ours at that time, he was entrusted with various important and honorable offices, showing how many beautiful and rare qualities he had. He had sternness and prudence together with candor and sweetness in his ways and appearance leading to love and respect, while generating modesty and devotion. Most humble heart, he was all benign and patient in charity. He was very austere with himself: a great worker, he assumed for himself the weight of work, and provided for the needs of others first and then of his own.”  “He was all zeal,” Fr. Grassini stated, “in arousing in us Religious the spirit of the great Apostle Paul, and especially for the Novices.” 

After six years in Monza, he went to St. Alexander as Master of the students, besides being a spiritual director for the people. Unfortunately he got a most violent fever, which he endured with great patience, and great devotion. He felt the assault of the devil and he used the image of the Blessed Mother with the Baby Jesus to expel them. Indeed while holding the image and kissing it he gave his last breath on August 20, 1629. He was only 47 years old.

 

 

August 21

FATHER LUOIS UNGARELLI
Biblical scholar and exegete.
(1779-1845)

 

Fr. Ungarelli was born in Bologna, on February 12, 1779. After entering our seminary, he was overcome by scruples and went back home, but eventually he became a diocesan priest. When 26 years old, the young priest knocked again at our door and entered the novitiate in San Severino, professing the vows on October 29, 1806. When in 1809 he found out about the Napoleonic decree suppressing all Religious Orders, he suffered a severe nervous breakdown, as himself affirmed, with consequences affecting him the rest of his life. He refused to return to his family, and waited patiently for the reestablishment of the Congregation. In 1814 he was one of the first to re-enter in the Congregation in Rome, together with Fontana, Lambruschini, and Cadolini, all three future Cardinals. He became right away master of students and theology professor until his death.

 In 1833 he published the first volume of the Bibliotheca Scriptorum of the Congregation, bringing to completion a work started by Fr. Fontana. Unable to continue this work because of his future works, it would be completed by Fr. Boffito in 1933-34.

A great scholar, he studied with great assiduity for the benefit of religious sciences, inflaming with his enthusiasm his students, among whom he created an Academy for the study of Sacred Scripture. One of his students was Charles Vercellone, a future great Biblical scholar.

He published a Latin version of the Egyptian grammar of his illustrious friend Ippolito Rosellini, enriching it with many examples.  He was asked to organize the Vatican Egyptian Museum, and in 1842 he received his greater task, the interpretation of the obelisks in Rome.

On January 31, 1844, he received a first warning of the end. He collapsed while celebrating Mass. The stroke left him paralyzed on his left side, and for one year and half he struggled with patience and determination, but on August 21, 1845, it was the end. “His friends were enchanted by his private virtues, while the scholars applauded the brilliancy of his genius, and the future generations will list Ungarelli among modest men; so much careful in avoiding honors and praises as they are worthy of them.”

 

August 22

FATHER ORAZIO PREMOLI
Historian of the Congregation
(1864-1928)

 

 The Premoli family, from Crema, has given a lot to our Congregation. In the 18th century three members entered the Congregation: Fr. Jerome Alexander, Fr. Faustino Joseph, and Fr. Paul Philip, who was also Superior General. The grandfather of Fr. Orazio worked tirelessly, but unsuccessfully for the return of the Barnabites in Crema. It was a tradition for the family to entrust all their boys to the Barnabites for their education, and indeed all Fr. Orazio’s brothers studied at the St. Mary school in Monza.

 Orazio was born on May 20, 1864. In 1873 he entered our school of St. Francis in Lodi, where he stayed for ten years. At his graduation in 1883, he was declared the Prince of studies for that year, and his picture was added to the special collection of the school history. He attended the University of Turin, graduating in Law in 1887. It was four years later, in 1891, that finally he decided to enter our Congregation. In a personal diary he had written:

“My dear friend..., you know how since I left the boarding school (1883), I had the desire to become a Barnabite, and you know too that I would have done it immediately if it had not been for the opposition of my parents who wanted me to attend first the University to have a closer look and to know better the world I wanted to leave. That was not a recent thought: since when I was 12, more or less, my mind had stop often to take into consideration those good Fathers who were surrounding me with so many and loving cares, and, as much as my young age would allow, I had investigated the reason why they did so, since I had not deserved it. Their words, and most of all their actions, which always were affirming the first, soon convinced me that only our religion and the holiness of life they had embraced were inspiring such a charitable attitude toward me.

All of this with other circumstances I do not remember now, brought about in me the desire to dedicate myself totally to God, a thought which I did not take too long to concretize in the decision to become a Barnabite: and I remember that many times I had promised to the Lord to become one, as soon as it was possible for me.

That enthusiasm did not last too long: maybe one year. The love for my family, the thought of the sacrifices demanded by the vocation, diminished my enthusiasm, but did not extinguish completely the inspiration.

And so my school years went by. I must say that during that time my mind, already overburden by the approaching finals, was painfully embattled... But still in the midst of that great fight my ideal, the ideal of early years, persisted and some time was smiling over me with infinite suavity... When, at the end of my exams, I left the school, I separated myself from my good Fathers with tears in my eyes, but with a great hope in my heart.

The greatest obstacle to my decision was the great love I had for my saintly mother. She loved me with the fullness of her heart. She loved me more than all the other children I think because I had cost her many sacrifices and apprehensions when I was still a child. I had been in danger of death for an illness of my chest. These kinds of pains refine the maternal love which then expands itself so much over the one who is their cause. One evening, in August, determined to tackle even this obstacle, I was taking a walk with my mother. As we talked about what I would do in the future, I manifested my desire to be a Religious. The news was for her a big surprise and caused her great pain. She was kind of shocked. She could not find words to express how painful the thing was for her. Poor Mama! How many dreams a simple word of mine was shattering! And what a sacrifice was demanded of her!... We continued our walk in silence.

Then all the doubts of the previous months came back to me with greater intensity, since my allies were far away from me. The fight was terrible: and then the fear that my resolution would be interpreted as a lack of love for my family was adding to the fight quite a thorny character. The sleepless nights, interrupted by sad and fearful dreams. During the day I was trying to isolate myself as much as possible.”           

After his graduation form the University he was very restless, because it was not his vocation to be a lawyer. He traveled to Paris, to Austria, moved to Rome, and even thought to get married. In Rome he was in direct communication with our Fr. Armani, and through his guidance, on the feast of the Holy Fonder, he decided finally to communicate his final decision to his parents.  And to be freer he decided to have the novitiate in Belgium.  After the profession he moved to Rome for the theological studies, and was ordained a priest in Perugia on June 25, 1895.

His first assignment was in St. Barnabas, where he stayed for 12 years in various functions, including Master of the students, teacher, confessor, and preacher. He directed also the Oratorio of the Immaculate, until it was closed to give way to the new Zaccaria Institute. There he became the director for the “external” students, besides being a teacher and preacher.

In 1904, he was elected Assistant General, an office he held until few days before his death. He was Superior and master of the seminary, and soon he became Postulator General.  He taught the students dogmatic theology, history of the Church, and Hebrew. In 1908 he accompanied the Superior General for the canonical visitation of the Neapolitan Province, and in 1921 he went to visit our mission in Brazil.

 He was spending a lot of his time in libraries and archives, concentrating on the history of the sixteenth century, especially of the Church and of the Congregation. He was a very versatile man, speaking well in French, English and German. He was an accomplished musician, and quite an artist.

In 1928 he felt quite exhausted and asked to be excused from attending the General Chapter, but Fr. General did not want to deprive the Chapter of his wisdom, so he carried on the best as he could. They wanted him to be again Assistant General, but finally they accepted his refusal.

The doctors suggested a change of climate, so he asked to go to Segni with his students, but his heart became gradually weak. On August 21 he received the Anointing of the sick and peacefully he gave his last breath on August 22, 1928.

     

August 23

FATHER MAURICE C. LODEWYCH
First Barnabite to die in Brazil.
(1881-1905)

 

Fr. Lodewych was born on April 14, 1881, in the little village of Menin, (Flanders). He attended the St. Louis School, and in 1893 he asked admission in our Congregation. So he entered our seminary in Gien, and eventually the novitiate in Mouscron, professing the vows on October 1, 1900. He moved to Rome for his studies, but had to return to Belgium for the military service. He continued his studies in Boruges, where the Rector testified that “he was a model of piety, regular observance, and dedication to his studies.”  He completed his education in Brussels, and finally, at the end of the 1904 Lent he was ordained a priest.

The newly ordained was assigned immediately to the seminary of Belem, in North Brazil. For the first few months he dedicated himself to learn Portuguese and to the study of philosophy and dogmatic theology, and after the summer vacation he started his teaching task. He attended also to the apostolic ministry of the parish Our Lady of Nazareth. There was no work too heavy for him: “I have to sacrifice myself!” he wrote in his notes. “What a beautiful soul!” a Prelate exclaimed when he heard of his death. Indeed he was a very pious and candid person, very devout to the Blessed Sacrament and of the Blessed Mother.

Unfortunately he did not last too long. At the end of the school year he was going to go to the summer house with the seminarians, but he was already feeling weak. On August 19, the doctor diagnosed a simple gastric fever, so he encouraged him to go with the seminarians. Meanwhile he was brought to the house of the Sisters of Mercy. He deteriorated very fast, and he asked for all the Sacraments. He then asked to send a special note to his family for a last greeting. The Mother Superior gave him an image of the Blessed Mother, and he held it to his heart to the end. He even asked to renew his religious vows saying: “I am a Barnabite, and tell everyone that I want to die as a Barnabite.”

On August 23, 1905, he became unconscious and eventually gave his beautiful soul to God.  Fr. Richert, Superior of the Seminary wrote: “The death of Fr. Lodewych will be a blessing to make fruitful the foundation of the Barnabites in Brazil.”

 

 

August 25

FATHER TITUS DEGLI ALESSI
Touched on the forehead by St. Anthony Mary, became one of his companions.
 (1520-1595)

 

One day, while St. Anthony M. Zaccaria was going back to the Cathedral of Vicenza, he met along the way a group of very happy and noisy young men. Suddenly he gazed his eyes on the one who seemed to be the leader and touched him on his forehead, signing him with the sign of the Cross. Titus degli Alessi suddenly felt a tremendous flame in his heart, and without hesitation, left his company to join the one of Anthony Mary’s.

Eventually he became a Barnabite in 1546, when on May 1, he was received by Fr. John Peter Besozzi. Through the exercise of public mortifications he advanced on the way of perfection and his love for the Congregation, so that, during the persecution, he manifested a tremendous strength.

Together with Fr. Boerio he was sent to Rome to open our first house there. Gifted with a very practical feeling, he was able to overcome great difficulties. There he also became a good friend of St. Philip Neri. Eventually in 1575 the church of St. Blaise all’Anello became our fist residence in Rome, with Fr. Degli Alessi as Superior.

Three years later he was Superior in Cremona, and in 1579 he participated in the General Chapter which, presided by St. Charles Borromeo, approved the new Constitutions. He spent his last years in St. Alexander in Milan, and indeed he was the first to die in that Community, on August 25, 1595, at the age of 75.

 

  August 28

BISHOP MANSUETO MERATI
Bishop of Acerra
(1589-1661)

           

Fr. Merati was an excellent Religious, zealous preacher and director of souls. He was born in Milan in 1589, and when 14 he asked for admission in our Congregation. He had to wait the next year, when he was 15, to be accepted by Fr. Dossena. He professed the vows on December 28, 1606. He attended his studies in St. Barnabas and in Pavia, reaching ordination on March 23, 1613. Right away he dedicated himself to preaching in Pavia first, then in Milan and in Turin, becoming a well known and appreciated homilist for Lent.

In 1628 he became Superior of St. Paul alla Colonna in Rome, until December 1629, when he followed Cardinal Boncompagni to Naples, who entrusted the Penitentiary to the Barnabites. In 1630 he was on his way to Milan for the General Chapter, but the pestilence stopped him in Bologna. Anyway he was elected Superior of St. Mary’s in Cosmedin in Naples, continuing his preaching apostolate. In 1634 Marguerite of Savoy, Vice-Queen of Portugal, asked him to be her confessor and theologian. Having received proper permission from his Superiors, he followed the Queen in Portugal and in Spain through much tormented years.

In 1644, the Queen, in gratitude for the service rendered her by Fr. Merati, asked Philip IV to make him Bishop of Acerra in the Kingdom of Naples. Urban VIII ratified the nomination on July 13, 1644.

We know very little of his activity as a Bishop, but the writers concur in affirming that he was a most zealous pastor, and a man of deep spirituality. He was a Bishop for 17 years, leaving in that diocese a great impression of virtue, and piety. During a visit to the locality called Sacra, he got sick, and after 35 days, his life ended on August 28, 1661, at the age of 72.

We read in the Chronicles of Naples: “Fr. Mansueto Merati, from Milan, for the time he lived in our Congregation was a great example of regular observance. He was Superior in Rome and in Vienna, and showed to be a famous preacher. Very well accepted by Princes and the Great of the Court, and especially dear to the Infant Marguerite... His reputation as an orator spread in Italy as well as in the Kingdom of the two Sicilies... Made Bishop of Acerra, and at the same time honored with the task as Counselor of the King, in the same Kingdom of Naples, for 17 years he guided his church with great esteem and praise by all for his virtues and especially his piety...”

 

 August 29

FATHER LOUIS GRONDONA
Missionary in Burma
(1746-1823)

 

Born in Milan in 1746, Fr. Grondona was educated at the Arcimboldi school. He entered our Congregation together with his brother Charles, and they professed the vows together in 1766. Because the novitiate in Monza was full, he was sent to the one in Zagarolo.

His first destination was in San Severino to teach philosophy, then in Rome to teach Hermeneutics. In 1776 he volunteered for the mission in Burma. Originally he was going to travel together with Fr. John Mazzuchelli, but ended up doing the perilous journey alone. In Madagascar the boat capsized, and he was saved by a miracle, but only to fall in the ends of the natives together with his few companions who had survived. They were left naked on the beach, under the hot sun. For six days they wondered around, until they encountered the Prince of the Baja of St. Augustine, who helped them. Fr. Grondona was lucky to find a Portuguese boat on which he was able to continue his voyage. After one year and half finally he reached Rangoon.

He established himself in Kiancò until, in 1783, he was made Apostolic Vicar, since Bishop Mantegazza had to go to Rome for business. The English Ambassador Symes has left a beautiful testimonial about his great apostolic spirit, indeed he was considered to be “the greatest and most famous of the missionaries.”  His reputation with the local King was so high that he was entrusted with the education of his children. Unfortunately the King was not the wisest person. At first he persecuted the local Talapuins in favor of the Christian missionaries, and then he started to persecute the Christians too, to the point of banning them from the Kingdom. The viceroy in Rangoon came to their help, welcoming them in his city, having received from them many rich gifts, until the King died. The new King called Fr. Gordona back to the capital, where his life ended on August 28, 1823. For 46 years he had worked tirelessly in the mission. The King assumed the expenses for his funeral.

The English Major Burney wrote: “Fr. Louis Gordona was mentioned with great honor in the report of the second mission by the Colonel Symes in Ava, in 1803, as well in the history of the country published by the Captain Connig. He died in this city of Ava nine years ago.”

 

 

August 30

FATHER PIUS MANZADOR
39th Superior General
(1706-1774)

 

Fr. Manzador was born in Vienna on March 10, 1706. Very young he entered our Congregation and professed the vows in 1724.

After his ordination in 1729, he was assigned to teach philosophy and theology in St. Michael. Soon he became well known not so much as a teacher but as a preacher, not only in our church of St. Michael but also in the Cathedral. Indeed he was instrumental for the conversion of many influential people in the city. Some of his sermons were published in 1752 and in 1760, together with other booklets in defense of the Catholic Faith.

He revealed himself to be a man of great prudence and wisdom, so he was elected to many offices in the Congregation, as well as by the Government. In 1752 he was Superior of St. Michael. In 1755 he was supposed to attend the General Chapter but the Empress Mary Theresa kept him in Vienna. Anyway he was elected Superior Provincial of Germany for the next three years term. In 1756 he was more than once in Rome for business of the Empress with the Popes Benedict XIV and Clement XIII.

In 1761 as General Visitor he participated in the General Chapter which was held in Milan, and he came out of it as the new Superior General. In Vienna the Court was very happy about it, and when he went for the canonical visit, he was welcomed with great honors. During his term he governed with great prudence, a steady hand and a good spirit. He had a reputation as an excellent Religious. In the Chapter of 1764, all eyes were on him for another term, when the news arrived that he had been made Bishop of Segna and Mazador in Dalmatia.

He was consecrated in Vienna in our church of St. Michael on February 3, 1765, and on March 15, he went to take possession of his diocese. Unfortunately we have no news of this last stage of his life. We know only that in 1772 he was transferred to Hermanstadt, and two years later he died on August 30, 1774, at the age of 68.

 

 

August 30

FATHER ALBERT DUBOIS
A great devout of Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence
(1849-1927)

 

Fr. Bubois was born on December 18, 1849, in Turny (France). Since a young boy he had the desire to be a priest, but his parents were not much in favor. Anyway, in 1861 he entered the minor seminary of Orleans, where he received the First Communion. In 1863 he was in Paris studying at the Charles Magno School, where his father had moved working in a small vegetable business. The year after the young Albert received his father’s permission to enter the seminary of Chardonnet, then to the one of St. Sulplice in Issy for the study of philosophy. But then he developed also a Religious vocation and so he asked for admission to our Congregation.

He received the habit in 1877, and entered the novitiate in Aubigny. He went to Rome for theology, but for a short time. Because of his health he moved to Florence, and after one year he returned to Paris, where he was finally ordained a priest. At first he dedicated himself to pastoral work in the church of the Magdalene, running also the local oratorio. Then, in 1877, he was asked to teach in Gien.

The political events of the time against Religious Orders brought the closing of the school. The students were divided in two groups: some were sent home to their families, the others went to Genoa, Italy, with Fr. Dubois, where he succeeded Fr. Ferrari as Director.

Later we find him in Monza for his solemn profession. Two years later he is in Bologna to teach French, and then he is back in Gien. In 1885 he moved again, this time to Norway to join Frs. Stub, Moro, Tondini, and Almerici. But he could not stand the climate, so at the beginning of 1886 he was back in Paris.

In 1889 he was in Mouscron, where he became Superior. After a bad business experience with a Lady who wanted to control the Fathers, he decided to retire to Paris to dedicate himself to the apostolate, especially as confessor of many religious Congregations.  In 1901, a fire destroyed part of the novitiate in Mouscron, and Fr. Dubois was called to rebuild it.

In 1903, again the political events of the time dispersed all our Confreres. Fr. Dubois ended up in Bucharest (Romania) with the purpose of opening a house, which did not succeed. He returned to Brussels, and then to Paris for the last time. Naturally the Fathers there had no more a house, forced to live in apartments. It was to be in 1925 that finally they would be able to obtain the church of Our Lady of the Rosary, where Fr. Dubois went to finish his last days. He died there on August 30, 1927, at the age of 78.

One of Fr. Dubois’ characteristics was a tender devotion toward Our Lady, Mother of Divine Providence. He spread her devotion every place he went, and published a voluminous book on the subject.

 

 August 31

FATHER PETER ROSATI
A poet and scholar
(1834-1915)

 

Fr. Rosati was born in Ponzano (Abruzzi Province) on April 8, 1834. When 13 the young Peter entered the Barnabite school in Teramo. It was in 1853 that he felt the call to religious life and asked admission to our Order. After his novitiate in Resina, the newly professed went to Rome for theology. He was ordained a priest on September 8, 1858. His first assignment was at Our Lady of Caravaggio in Naples, then in Arienzo, and Naples again but at Pontecorvo. After his graduation we find him as a teacher in various subjects in Parma, Naples, Bologna, Florence, Moncalieri, and again in Bologna. It was in Moncalieri that he published his second edition of his poems “Carmina.” In 1892 the General Chapter elected him Provincial Superior of the Roman Province, a position he held for three consecutive terms, until 1901. He was also General Visitor, and more than once Rector of the college.

This was Fr. Rosati’s life, divided between the classroom and his religious cell, committed to prayer and to work. His poetic achievements are witnesses not only by his many publications but also by praises of fellow poets like Giovanni Pascoli, by the Academy of Amsterdam, and even by Pope Leo XIII. He died at the age of 81 on August 31, 1915.

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