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Blessed Tommaso Maria Fusco

February 24
1831-1891, Italian.

Son of Dr Antonio Fusco, a pharmacist, and Stella Giordano, an Italian noble; seventh of eight children in a pious family. His mother died of cholera in 1837 when Tommaso was six, his father in 1841 when the boy was ten, and he was educated by his fraternal uncle Giuseppe, a priest and school teacher. Entered the seminary at Nocera, Italy in 1847, the same year his uncle Giuseppe died. Ordained on 22 December 1855.

Opened a school for boys in his own home, and organized prayer groups at night in his parish. Joined the Congregation of the Missionaries of Nocera in 1857, and became a traveling missionary in southern Italy. Chaplain and spiritual director at the Shrine of Our Lady of Carmel (Our Lady of the Hens) in Pagani, Italy in 1860. Opened a school of moral theology in his home in 1862, and trained priests in the ministry of Confession. Founded the Priestly Society of the Catholic Apostolate to support missions, a congregation that received the approval of Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1874. Founded the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood on 6 January 1873, a congregation devoted to the care of orphans. Parish priest at San Felice e Corpo di Cristo at Pagani from 1874 to 1887. Confessor to cloistered nuns at Pagani and Nocera. Wrote on a number of topics including moral theology; his works always expressed his devotion to the Precious Blood.

Late in life he was the victim of slander when a brother priest became jealous of Tommaso's good works and consequent notoriety. But Father Fusco prayed his way through the matter, continued his work, and was vindicated in the end.
Beatified on Oct. 7, 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

"May work and suffering for God always be your glory and in your work and suffering, may God be your consolation on this earth, and your recompense in heaven. Patience is the safeguard and pillar of all the virtues." - Blessed Tommaso Maria Fusco

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