Skip to content

Bl. Louis Tezza

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of Bl. Louis Tezza


Feastday: September 26
Birth: 1841
Death: 1923
Beatified By: 4 November 2001 by Pope John Paul II

Fr. Louis Tezza was born in Conegliano (TV) on 1st November 1841, the only son of Augustine Tezza and Cathetine Nedwiedt. His father, who was a medical doctor, died when Louis was nine and his mother decided to move to Padova, where Louis continued his studies.

At the age of fifteen he entered the Camillian Order (Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus de Lellis). Having entrusted her son to the Camillian noviciate, and being certain of the authenticity of his vocation, she herself entered the convent of the Visitation where she was renowned as an exceptional woman and religious sister.

After his ordination Louis was entrusted with the formation of the young religious. Four years later he was presented with an opportunity of fulfilling a long standing desire by becoming a missionary to Africa, but obedience decreed that he obey his legitimate superiors who were not in favour of the venture. Instead of Africa, he was transferred to Rome as novice master.

In 1871 Fr. Louis was sent to the new foundation in France as novice master, where he would later become the first provincial. Through his dedication and zeal he succeeded in establishing the common life within the community, while at the same time setting up specific Camillian social facilities in the local areas for the spiritual and corporal benefit of the sick. With the suppression of the religious institutes in 1880 he was expelled from France, as he was seen as a foreigner. However, he secretly returned and managed to unite the religious who were scattered here and there throughout the country. Thus he not alone resisted the suppression, but he was responsible for laying the foundations for the development that would later follow.

He was elected Procurator and Vicar General of the Camillians in 1891, and on his return to Rome he providentially met Josephine Vannini (beatified on 16th Oct. 1994). He had for some time cherished in his heart the desire to establish a group of consecrated women who would serve the sick in accordance with the spirit and charism of St. Camillus de Lellis. Thus on the 2nd of February 1892 the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Camillus was born, enriching the Camillian charism with the feminine characteristics of tenderness, hospitality, intuition and attentive listening. These were the very gifts which Camillus sought in his religious when they assisted the sick. The Institute was approved by the Holy See in 1931, and has experienced a rapid growth and expansion.

The Apostle of Lima

Just when it appeared that Fr. Louis' activity was drawing to a close, another very important chapter was about to be written. At the age of 59 he was sent to Peru as Official Visitor, with the brief of reforming the Camillian community of Lima, which for over a century had been separated from the Order, and now risked being suppressed. This task was seen as involving a short stay in Lima, but when the time to return to Rome came both the Archbishop and the Apostolic Nuncio considered his presence indispensable, defining him as "as a man inspired by God and providential for Lima". He accepted their request, sanctioned by his superiors, as the will of God and entrusted all to Providence. Thus he remained in Lima for 23 years, until his death.

During this time he was to enrich his surroundings with his great charity and love of God, expressed through the exercise of an intense apostolic activity. Besides his work in re-establishing the regular life in the religious communities, he dedicated himself to the needs of the sick, especially those who were poor, in their homes, in the hospitals and in the prisons. He was confessor and spiritual director to the archdiocesan seminary and various religious Congregations. He was sought as a counsellor both in the Nunciature and in Archbishop's House. He successfully helped another founder, the servant of God Teresa Candamo, overcome her initial difficulties with her new Institute.

His discreet work, and intelligent and deep love, coupled with his loving and authoritative character led to his being regarded as the "saint of Lima". Here Fr. Louis died on 23rd September 1923. Un unknown visitor carved the words "apostle of Lima" on his tomb.

He was described by the Card. Lauri as "the holiest priest in the diocese of Lima" , and on his death the faithful distributed a remembrance card which highlights the main traits of his sanctity: "he was sough after as a father and venerated as a saint: he is no longer with us but he continues to teach us from the tomb; his presence and comportment was angelic; his word was that that of a minister of the gospel; his heart a repository of noble affection; his mission was always salvific. He passed among us as a heavenly vision, ever good and humble, always charitable. Faith was the basis of all his work while goodness enveloped him like a mantle and tiara"

His mortal remains are to be found in the Generalate of the Daughters of St. Camillus on the Via Anagnina in Grottaferrata (Rome).


Fr. Louis Tezza's message can be readily understood in the light of the gospel. Jesus had a special concern for the sick, and furthermore he identified personally with his suffering brothers: "I was sick and you visited me. In so far as you this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me" (Mt.25.40)

Fr. Louis was chosen by God not only to live this charism of mercy for the sick, but to spread it through the founding of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Camillus, an institute dedicated to care for human life from the moment of conception to natural death. He showed every Christian how to act in the face of suffering; to care and alleviate, and especially to value it for one's own sanctification and the redemption of others.

Fr. Louis encourages us to believe in and operate in accordance with God's plan for each one of us. The cornerstone of his existence was obedience to God. He was constantly seeking the will of God, and striving to carry it out in his life. He could see God's plan in the signs of the times, the ordinary events of life, in the decisions of his superiors, and he was convinced that these had to be followed no matter what the cost in personal sacrifice.

He leaves each one of us today with this personal challenge, in the hope that we will make it our own:

"God's invitation to become saints is for all, not just a few.
Sanctity therefore must be accessible to all.
In what does it consist? In a lot of activity? No.
In doing extraordinary things? No, this could not be for everybody and at all times.
Therefore, sanctity consists in doing good, and in doing this "good" in whatever condition and place God has placed us.
Nothing more, nothing outside of this".

Biography Provided By: The Vatican

Bl. Louis Tezza Comments

More Saints

Browse Saints by Category

Popular Saints




Image of St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of Lisieux

Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for their own lives than in volumes by theologians. ... continue reading | shop


Image of St. Sebastian

St. Sebastian

Nothing is known about St. Sebastian's youth other than the fact he may have come from southern France and he was educated in Milan. He joined the Roman Army in 283 AD, ostensibly to be of ... continue reading | shop


Image of St. Peter

St. Peter

Peter, who was also known as Simon Peter of Cephas, is considered the first Pope. Despite his papacy, Peter had humble beginnings and became one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was ... continue reading | shop

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. Cyril of Jerusalem

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

"Make your fold with the sheep; flee from the wolves: depart not from the Church," Cyril admonished catechumens surrounded by heresy. These were prophetic words for Cyril was to be hounded ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Female Saints

Image of St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class in the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she was said to have heard the ... continue reading

More Female Saints

Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts


Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading

Image of St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Blaise

St. Blaise

Saint Blaise was the bishop of Sebastea and a doctor. The first known record of the saint's life comes from the medical writings of AĆ«tius Amidenus, where he is recorded as helping with patients suffering from objects stuck in their throat. Many of the miraculous ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast day-July 15) St. Bonaventure, known as "the seraphic doctor," was born at Bagnoregio, in the Lazio region of central Italy, in 1221. He received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. ... continue reading

Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of Bl. Oscar Romero.

Surprising facts about Bl. Oscar Romero

By David Ramos and Elise Harris (CNA)

In his role as Vicar General, Monsignor Ricardo Urioste was one of the closest collaborators of Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador who was martyred for the faith in 1980 and beatified in 2015. San Salvador, El Salvador (CNA/EWTN News) - And this monsignor has ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.