As the date grows closer for the October 14 Canonization at the Vatican, Catholic news sources are filled with profiles of the “Blessed” individuals who will be elevated to Sainthood during this Sunday’s ceremony. While the majority of the news is centered around two of the more well-known “Blessed,” i.e. Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero, one news service profiled Father Francesco Spinelli, a diocesan Priest through whose intercession a newborn was saved from death. We will not “spoil” his beatification story with an editorial analysis. However, here is a brief biographical sketch:
Born on April 14, 1853, in Milan Francesco Spinelli entered the seminary at Bergamo and was ordained a Priest on October 17, 1875. He began his apostolate educating the poor; and at the same time, he served as a seminary professor, spiritual director and counselor for several women’s religious communities.
In 1882, Father Spinelli met Caterina Comensoli, with whom he co-founded the Institute of the Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. The sisters dedicated themselves to Eucharistic adoration day and night, which inspired their service to the poor and suffering.
Due to several setbacks, Father Spinelli transferred from the Diocese of Bergamo to the Diocese of Cremona, where he continued to lead the Adoration Institute in Rivolta d’Adda. He died on February 6, 1913, and was buried in the church of the Adoration Sisters in Rivolta d’Adda. Currently, the institute has approximately 250 communities in Italy, Congo, Senegal, Cameroon, Colombia, and Argentina, caring for people with HIV, orphans, drug addicts and prisoners.
Father Spinelli was beatified by St. John Paul II June 21, 1992, at the Marian Shrine of Caravaggio.
Please use this link to learn how his intercession saved a newborn from death courtesy of The Catholic World Report.