Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta

As the Church prepares to welcome seven new saints this month, ZENIT will feature an article, from Oct. 11 -21, on each of these remarkable servants of God.

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ROME, OCT. 17, 2012 ( Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta was born into a poor family in Brescia, Italy on November 26, 1841 and entered the seminary in 1860, after which he was ordained a priest in 1865. Father Piamarta worked with young people and families in the rural parishes and later in Brescia.

Blessed Piarmarta was noted his zeal and dedication to children, to the sick and to helping people through spiritual direction.

Together with Father Pietro Capretti he founded the Workman’s Institute (Istituto Artigianelli), to provide support and help keep Christianity in the lives of young people moving to the city for work. With Father Giovanni Bonsignori he founded Agricultural Colony of Remedello to provide similar services to farm workers.

Religious brothers and sisters were drawn to the work Father Giovanni was doing, and in March 1900 he founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Congregation of the Sisters,

With the assistance of his mother he also founded a female congregation, the Humble Servants of the Lord. He died in Father Bonsignori’s arms in Remedello on April 25, 1913, surrounded by his brothers.

Blessed Piamarta was beatified on October 12, 1997 by Pope John Paul II. In his homily John Paul II said that:

“Following Christ’s example, he, too, was able to bring a great many boys and young men to meet the Lord’s loving and demanding gaze. How many, thanks to his pastoral activities, were able to start out joyfully in life, having learned a skill and, above all, having encountered Jesus and his message of salvation!”

“The new blessed’s apostolic work has many facets and embraces many areas of social life: from the world of work to that of agriculture, from education to the publishing sector. He has left a great mark on the Diocese of Brescia and on the entire Church,” John Paul II commented.

“Where did this extraordinary man of God find the energy for all his numerous activities? The answer is clear: assiduous and fervent prayer was the source of his tireless apostolic zeal and beneficial influence which he exercised on everyone he approached. He himself said, as the accounts of his contemporaries recall: «With prayer one is strengthened by the strength of God himself … Omnia possum». Everything is possible with God, for him and with him,” the Pope added.

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