Saint Gaetano Catanoso

Gaetano Catanoso (b. 14 February 1879 in Ciorio di San Lorenzo, Reggio Calabria, Italy; died on 4 April 1963). His parents were wealthy landowners and devout Roman Catholics.

As a priest, he felt it his duty to help children and youth who lacked role models and risked being corrupted, as well as abandoned older persons and priests who were isolated and without support. He also helped restore churches and Tabernacles left to decay. From 1921 to 1950 he served as confessor at religious institutes and in the Reggio Calabria prison. He was also hospital chaplain and spiritual director of the Archiepiscopal Seminary.

In 1934, Fr Catanoso founded the "Congregation of the Daughters of St Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face"; its mission: constant prayer of reparation, humble service in worship, catechesis, assistance to children, youth, priests and the elderly. The first convent was opened in Riparo, Reggio Calabria. When the Archbishop curtailed the activities of the Congregation, Fr Catanoso showed great docility in accepting this decision; however, on 25 March 1958, the Constitutions he had written received diocesan approval.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 4 May 1997.


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