Gennaro Sarnelli was born in Naples, Italy, on September 12, 1702. Son of the Baron of Ciorani, he had a solid cultural and spiritual formation. Dedicating himself to the study of jurisprudence, he gained a doctorate in civil and canon law at age 20. Caring for the sick in the Hospital for the Incurables, he felt the call to the priesthood. During this time he also came to know Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, who was his first biographer.
Ordained a priest in 1732, he dedicated himself especially to the catechesis of young boys and to the rehabilitation of girls at risk of becoming prostitutes. In June of the following year, he entered the Redemptorists. He dedicated himself to the preaching of the Word of God to those who were most destitute of spiritual help.
For reasons of health, in 1736, he returned to Naples, where, while continuing the missionary activity of the Redemptorists Congregation, he resumed his previous pastoral and charitable activities, especially among the sick, the old, those in prison and the young boys forced to work as dock-laborers. He also initiated a fervent movement against the spread of prostitution.
A prodigious writer, he published more than 30 books on a wide range of subjects, including socio-juridical studies, moral issues, mysticism, pedagogy, pastoral practice, Mariology, and ascetical theology.
In 1741, he organized and took part in the great mission among the spiritually abandoned areas in the outskirts of Naples. Spent by his burning zeal, he died in Naples June 30, 1744, at the age of 42. John Paul II beatified him on May 12, 1996.
Biography Provided by: The Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province
Cofounder of the Barnabites. Born in 1502 in Cremona, Italy, Anthony became a medical doctor. In 1528 he was ordained a priest and cofounded the Barnabites, the religious congregation so called ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12 (USA) When we reflect on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we learn two important lessons, one of faith and one of understanding. Missionaries who first came to Mexico with the conquistadors had little success in the beginning. After ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Bishop of Merida, Spain, trained by his predecessor, St. Paul. He was originally from the East. continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes