Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 127 -- Blessed Tommaso Reggio

Today we celebrate the birthday of priest, Blessed Tommaso Reggio who was born in 1818 in Genoa, Italy. At age 20 he felt called to the priesthood and was ordained on September 18, 1841. By age 25 he was vice-rector of the seminary. He helped to found The Catholic Standard, the first Catholic newspaper. In 1865 the newspaper and 25 other papers supported slates of Catholic candidates in hopes to found a Catholic political party. Unfortunately in 1874, Catholics were told they could not vote, and he closed the newspaper.

In 1877 he became bishop of Ventimiglia. The diocese was so poor that he had to travel on a mule. He opened new parishes and set up teaching programs. He prayed every morning from 3am to 6am. He never let anyone see him worry. He founded the Sisters of Saint Martha in 1878, a congregation devoted to caring for the poor.

He then worked the injured after an earthquake in 1887. He ordered his priests to use all resources possible to help the displaced. He founded orphanages in Ventimiglia and San Remo to house and educate children to lost their families in the earthquake.

In 1892 he asked the Pope to relieve him of his duties and he was appointed in archbishop of Genoa. He died on the afternoon of November 22, 1901 in Imperia, Italy or natural causes. He was beatified on September 3, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

On his ordination he said:
"I want to become a saint, cost what it may, living my life in accordance with the two cornerstones of Christianity: prayer and ascesis."

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