Archive for the ‘St. Luigi Guanella’ Tag

Feast of Blessed Enrico Rebushini and St. Luigi Guanella (May 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of the Vatican

Image in the Public Domain



Roman Catholic Priest and Servant of the Sick

helped by


Founder of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, the Servants of Charity, and the Confraternity of Saint Joseph

His feast transferred from October 24


O my Jesus, draw me entirely to you.  Draw me with all the love of my heart.  If I knew that one fiber of my heart did not palpitate for you, I would tear it out at any cost.  But I know that I could not speak without your help.  Draw me, O my Jesus, draw me completely.  I know it well, my heart cannot rest until it rests in you.

–St. Luigi Guanella


We need assistance from each other to become what we ought to be spiritually.  To function as an instrument of God in that way is a high calling.

Above:  Blessed Enrico Rebuschini

Image in the Public Domain

Blessed Enrico Rebuschini, born in Gravedona, Como, Italy, on April 28, 1860, encountered obstacles in his spiritual path and received help in overcoming them.  His mother, Sophia, was devout, but his father, Domenico, a tax inspector for the province of Como, had no use for religion.  Young Enrico, the second of five children, discerned a vocation to the religious life, but his father’s opposition frustrated plans for acting on that call.  Our saint studied mathematics at Pavia for one year.  He left due to the anticlericalism rampant at the university.  Rebuschini, back home, performed his year of mandatory military service.  The devout young man graduated (with honors) with a college degree in accounting in 1882.  Then he went to work as an administrator in the silk firm of a brother-in-law.  This employment did not satisfy our saint, prone to severe depression.  Finally, in the summer of 1884, Domenico permitted his son to pursue a religious vocation.  The intervention of St. Luigi Guanella was partially responsible for this decision.

Above:  Saint Luigi Guanella

Image in the Public Domain

Guanella was a priest who acted to help many people with regard to their practical needs.  He, born in Francisco di Campodolino, Sondrio, Italy, on December 9, 1842, was the ninth of thirteen children of the poor and pious Lawrence and Maria Guanella.  Our saint, who started his seminary studies at age 12, became a priest on May 26, 1866.  As a parish priest Guanella opened schools for the poor, founded a nursing home, started an orphanage, and founded a home for the handicapped.  From 1875 to 1878 he had worked with St. John Bosco in caring for homeless children.  Our saint was a friend and advisor of Pope St. Pius X and St. Andrea Carlo Ferrari (1850-1921), from 1894 the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan.  Guanella also founded three religious orders–the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, the Servants of Charity (of the Guanellians, for men), and the Confraternity of Saint Joseph (to pray for the dying).

Guanella suffered a stroke in 1915.  He died of complications of that stroke on October 24 of that year.  He was 72 years old.

Pope John XXIII declared Guanella a Venerable in 1962.  Pope Paul VI declared our saint a Blessed in 1964.  Pope Benedict XVI canonized Guanella in 2011.

Rebuschini was content in 1885, for he was, partially due to help from Guanella, living into his vocation.  Rebuschini was studying for the priesthood at the Gregorian University, Rome.  There was a major problem, however.  In March 1886 our saint fell into a nervous depression that lasted through May 1887.  He returned home.  Rebuschini, pondering that stage of his life in real time, wrote:

There are moments when the hand of God has weighed down on us and has plunged us into suffering…what a month of silence and what suffering at this time.  May God at least put an end to this and give us back our treasure.

Eight years later our saint wrote:

I was sent to a spa.  There God restored my health by giving me total confidence in His infinite goodness and mercy.

Yet Rebuschini never fully recovered his health.  He suffered occasional bouts of depression, although they were not as severe as the period of March 1886-May 1887.  He would have fared better had he lived during a time when better treatments existed.

Rebuschini, who had a devotion to St. Mary, the Mother of God, chose to help those who needed the most.  In 1887 he worked briefly in a hospital, losing his job because he insisted on working not in the assigned department, but instead among the poorest and most isolated patients.  On September 27 of that year our saint joined the Camillians (the Company of the Servants of the Sick) of Verona.  He, ordained a priest on April 14, 1889, made his profession in that order on December 8, 1891.  Among his duties for a few years was to be a hospital chaplain in Verona.

Rebuschini had a reputation as a kind man who sought to focus on the best characteristics of people he met.  He admitted that doing this was difficult for him much of the time; he relied on God to help him succeed.  Our saint was most critical of himself, however; his perfectionist tendencies, applied to himself, led him to regard himself as unworthy of taking on many tasks assigned to him.  He followed through on those tasks anyway.

On a happy note, Rebuschini was a punster.  Obviously he had an excellent sense of humor and a fine vocabulary.

Our saint, a hospital chaplain at Verona (1890-189?) and vice-novice master and professor of theology in that city (by 1895), left for Cremona in 1899.  At Cremona he served as the first chaplain to the Camillian Sisters.  A few years later he took on a second portfolio–that of bursar, which he performed for between 34 and 35 years, until 1937.  During that time Rebuschini also served as superior for 11 years.  In 1938, shortly before he died of pneumonia at the age 78 years, our saint asked forgiveness from all those he thought he might have offended.

Pope John Paul II declared Rebuschini a Venerable in 1995 then a Blessed two years later.







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 to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Saviour 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