FILIPPO SMALDONE (1848-1923)
Rev. Filippo Smaldone was an Italian priest who helped the deaf.
He lived from 1848-1923, pioneered education and other
assistance for the deaf and founded an order of nuns, the Congregation of
the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts. The order has convents in Brazil,
Moldova, Paraguay and Rwanda.
| Excerpted from Pope
Benedict XVI's Homily
Smaldone, son of South Italy, knew how to instill in his life the higher
virtues characteristic of his land.
A priest with a great heart nourished continuously on
prayer and Eucharistic adoration, he was above all a witness and servant of
charity, which he manifested in an eminent way through service to the poor,
in particular to deaf-mutes, to whom he dedicated himself entirely.
The work that he began developed thanks to the
Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts founded by him and
which spread to various parts of Italy and the world.
St. Filippo Smaldone saw the image of God reflected in
deaf-mutes, and he used to repeat that, just as we prostrate before the
Blessed Sacrament, so we should kneel before a deaf-mute.
From his example we welcome the invitation to consider
the ever indivisible love for the Eucharist and love for one's neighbor. But
the true capacity to love the brethren can come only from meeting with the
Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist