Archive for the ‘Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo’ Tag

Feast of Blesseds Giovanni Maria Boccardo and Luigi Boccardo (June 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Turin, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-06635



Founder of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano

His feast transferred from December 30

brother of


Apostle of Merciful Love


His charism as an educator and founder was to reveal the merciful love of Jesus, priest and king, to his brothers, especially in the education of the clergy…and in the spiritual direction of many that approached him in the confessional.

–Mother Teresa Ponsi, Superior General of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano


The Boccardo Brothers did much to help their fellow human beings.

Gasparo Boccardo and Giuseppina Malerba Boccardo, parents of ten children, raised a pious family.  Their eldest child was Giovanni Maria Boccardo, born in Moncalieri, Turin, on November 20, 1848.  A younger brother was Luigi Boccardo, Giovanni Maria’s godson, born on August 9, 1861.  The Barnabites educated both brothers; Giovanni Maria graduated from their high school in 1864.  Next he attended seminary.  In 1871, in Turin, Giovanni Maria became a priest.  Luigi followed suit, also in Turin, thirteen years later.

The Boccardo brothers eventually came to work together.  Giovanni Maria initially taught in seminary.  Next he served as the spiritual director of seminarians in Turin.  He, having earned his doctorate in theology in 1877, became honorary canon at the Church of Sancta Maria della Scala, Chieri, Turin.  Starting in 1882 Giovanni Maria was a parish priest in Pancalieri, Turin.  There he cared for the sick and the poor, helped at other congregations, became involved in the religious education of children and in prison ministry, ministered to victims of a cholera outbreak in 1884, and founded a hospice for the poor sick later that year.  Giovanni Maria also founded the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano, to care for the poor sick, the elderly, the neglected, ill priests, and the longterm sick.  Luigi served as his brother’s assistant priest at Pancalieri, Turin.  Luigi also served as the Vice-Rector and spiritual director at Consolata College, Turin.  He taught and provided spiritual direction to seminarians, visited prisoners, and heard many confessions.

Giovanni Maria, afflicted with paralysis in 1911, had to surrender his ministries during the next two years.  He, aged 65 years, died in Moncalieri, Turin, on December 30, 1913.  He left behind 44 volumes of writings about spiritual matters.  Pope John Paul II declared Giovanni Maria a Venerable then a Blessed in 1998.

Luigi continued in good works after his brother died.  The younger brother took over as a Superior of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano in 1913.  Six years later he became the director of a school for the blind.  In 1932 Luigi founded the Sisters of Jesus the King, a contemplative branch of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano.

Luigi, aged 76 years, died in Turin on June 9, 1936.  Pope John Paul II declared him a Venerable in 2003.  Pope Benedict XVI raised him to the status of Blessed in 2007.

The Boccardo brothers understood that how they cared for others–especially the vulnerable–was of the highest moral imperative.  That which they did for the least, they did for Jesus.





O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60