|Saint Gaspar del Bufalo|
|Born||January 6, 1786, Rome|
|Died||December 28, 1837, Rome|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||June 12, 1954, Rome by Pope Pius XII|
Gaspar del Bufalo was born in Rome. He was the son of a cook employed by the Altieri family, whose palace was across from the Church of the Gesù in Rome. Through the influence of his mother, Annunziata, he became greatly devoted to Saint Francis Xavier, whose relic is prominently displayed on an altar of the Gesù. He was ordained to the priesthood in the diocese of Rome in 1808. Along with other clergy who refused to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808 after the deportation of Pope Pius VII, he was sent into exile to northern Italy. Upon his return to Rome in 1814, he considered joining the Jesuits, who had recently been reestablished. However, in view of the needs of the time and in response to Pius VII, he engaged in the ministry of preaching and founded, despite facing considerable difficulties, a society of priests, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, at the abbey of San Felice in Giano, Umbria, in 1815.
Until his death on 28 December 1837, he worked tirelessly to re-evangelize central Italy, especially the Papal States. He was well known for his eloquence in preaching, his devotion to the poor (especially the Santa Galla Hospice in Rome), and his work with the brigands of southern Lazio.
His missionary efforts were extremely dramatic. One contemporary, the Passionist priest and bishop Saint Vincent Strambi, described his preaching as being "like a spiritual earthquake." He was also a friend of Saint Vincent Pallotti, founder of the Pallotines, who assisted at Gaspar's deathbed. He is particularly known for his devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ and for spreading this devotion during his lifetime.
He had a significant influence on St. Maria De Mattias, foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (A.S.C.), although it was C.PP.S. Missionary Venerable John Merlini who was most directly associated with St. Maria in establishing her congregation.
He had given his last mission in Rome at the Chiesa Nuova in 1837. Although in ill health, he returned to Rome from the Missionaries' house in Albano in the fall of 1837 to minister to the sick during the cholera outbreak. He returned to Albano but returned again at the suggestion of Cardinal Franzoni, the cardinal protector of the Congregation, in December 1837. He died in an apartment in the Teatro di Marcello on 28 December 1837.
His funeral was held in Rome at the church of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria, near the Teatro di Marcello, and he was buried in Albano. Later, his body was transferred to the house of the Missionaries on the Via dei Crociferi in Rome (Santa Maria in Trivio), where it remains today.
Saint Gaspar del Bufalo was canonized by Pope Pius XII on June 12, 1954. His feast day, as indicated in the Roman Martyrology, is on the day of his death, December 28, but has not been included in the General Roman Calendar. Currently Saint Gaspar del Bufalo's feast day is celebrated on October 21.
- ↑ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 88-209-7210-7)
- Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. "The Penguin Dictionary of Saints," 3rd edition, New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-140-51312-4.
- (Italian) San Gaspare del Bufalo
- "Blessed Gaspare del Bufalo". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Blessed_Gaspare_del_Bufalo.
- Missionaries of the Precious Blood websiteru:Буфало, Гаспар дель