Gaetano La Lomia entered the monastery as Gioacchino La Lomia in 1852 and was ordained a priest into the Capuchin order at Palermo in 1855. He served his papal missionary in the Amazonian Forest of Brazil for twelve years. Together with other missionary brothers, he preached the Gospel to thirteen villages, and dedicated himself to the improvement of health and the well-being of the Brazilian people and to the improvement of the culture in the region.
He returned to Italy in 1880 and started the Convent of the Capuchins of Canicattì in the Madonna della Rocca church. Although he was born to a wealthy family, he chose a life of poverty and humility. He was famous for performing many miracles both in Brazil and in Italy. His humility and charisma was recognized by all Sicilians as well as the Emperor Don Pedro II of Brazil whose confessions he also heard.
Padre Gioacchino became a candidate of the stages for Canonization in the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Agrigento, Sicily, in 1928. Four stages lead to Canonization with the title of Saint: first is Servant of God, second is Venerable, third is Blessed, then Saint. The candidate to these higher honors becomes "Venerable" when his or her case has been officially accepted by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and when a special Papal decree announces the candidacy, asserting that the person had spiritual virtues of heroic degree or had suffered martyrdom.
On 23 April 2002, in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Palace, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Father Gioacchino Venerable. On 29 September 2005, Pope Benedict XVI removed the custom which had previously called for Beatification rites to be held in the Vatican with the Pope presiding and delegated the Beatification liturgical ceremony to the Cardinal in the location where the subject lived. The Canonization process normally requires a 5 year waiting period.
In the 1970s "The Padre Gioacchino Song" was recorded in Sicily on 45rpm vinyl by Cesare d'Ambra and the orchestration was performed under the direction of Maestro Giuseppe Buttice'. The lyrics for the song are on page 89 of the book and have been recited by many generations of Sicilians.
- Candiano, Pietro (in Sicilian). Padre Giacchino La Lomia - Vita - Apostolato - Miracoli. Azienda Tipografica Editoriale Canicattinese. pp. 106. http://www.canicatti-centrodoc.it/nuovocentro/sezII/storialocale/CandianoPietro5/PadreGioacchino/CandianoLaLomia.htm.
This article includes material translated from the Italian Wikipedia article.