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Saint of the Day

St. Filippo Smaldone

June 4
Italian. 1848-1923

St. Filippo Smaldone founded the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts and is known for his work with the deaf.

He was born in Naples and was ordained a priest in 1871. During his time in the seminary, he began efforts to help the deaf of his native city. He also did work with the sick and nearly died of a plague. He credited his survival to Our Lady of Pompeii. In 1885 he founded an institution for the deaf at Lecce. He went on to work with the blind as well and also orphans. St. Filippo died at 75 from diabetes related complications. He was beatified in 1996 by Pope John Paul II and canonized in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

"St. Filippo Smaldone, son of South Italy, knew how to instill in his life the higher virtues characteristic of his land. A priest with a great heart, nourished continuously on prayer and Eucharistic adoration, he was above all a witness and servant of charity, which he manifested in an eminent way through service to the poor, in particular to the deaf, to whom he dedicated himself entirely. The work that he began developed thanks to the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts founded by him and which spread to various parts of Italy and the world. Saint Filippo Smaldone saw the image of God reflected in the deaf, and he used to repeat that, just as we prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament, so we should kneel before a deaf person. From his example we welcome the invitation to consider the ever indivisible love for the Eucharist and love for one's neighbor. But the true capacity to love the brethren can come only from meeting with the Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist." - Pope Benedict XVI, from the canonization homily of St. Filippo

St. Filippo Smaldone, pray for us!

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