Blessed Antonio Rosmini
Founder, Institute of Charity (1797–1855)
Antonio Rosmini was one of the preeminent Italian priests of the 19th century. Through his personal piety and scholarship, he tried to raise the level of Catholic culture and to enhance the Church’s leadership with respect to the moral and social questions of his day. He founded the Institute of Charity, a congregation of priests committed to the pursuit of holiness in service of the Church. He also achieved renown as a philosopher, writing scores of books. One of these, Five Wounds of the Church, laid out an extensive critique of the Church and the self-imposed afflictions that prevented it from assuming its leadership in the world. These wounds included the division of the people from the clergy in worship, the defective education of the clergy, and the enslavement of the Church by riches.
Rosmini’s works, along with his patriotic support for Italian unification, aroused the ire of the Vatican, which placed his books on the Index of proscribed works. Although never charged with any error, he remained under a cloud for the rest of his life. He submitted gracefully to these restrictions, satisfied by the knowledge that if he were not in error, his message would eventually be heard and received by future generations. He died on July 1, 1855, and was beatified in 2007.
“Pray that God in his mercy may give me patience to carry my cross though it be to the end of my life, and that I may never think hardly of those who have brought it on me.”
—Blessed Antonio Rosmini