|Apostolic Vicar of Shaoguan|
Photograph circa 1921.
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||22 April 1920|
|Term ended||25 February 1930|
|Predecessor||None; position established|
|Other posts||Titular Bishop of Carystus (1920-30)|
|Ordination||21 December 1895|
|Consecration||9 January 1921|
by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Budes de Guébriant
|Birth name||Luigi Versiglia|
|Born||5 June 1873|
Oliva Gessi, Pavia, Kingdom of Italy
|Died||25 February 1930 56) (aged|
Litouzui, Guangdong, China
|Alma mater||Pontifical Gregorian University|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||15 May 1983|
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
by Pope John Paul II
|Canonized||1 October 2000|
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
by Pope John Paul II
Saint Luigi Versiglia (5 June 1873 - 25 February 1930) was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and professed member from the Salesians of Don Bosco who served as the first Apostolic Vicar of Shaoguan from 1920 until his murder.He was also a former novice master noted for his strict austerities and discipline but for his loving and compassionate care of the poor and defenceless. He led the first Salesian expedition to China in 1906 and remained there until his death functioning for the people in various capacities such as a gardener and barber.
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the "canon", or list, of recognized saints. Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.
The Salesians of Don Bosco is a Roman Catholic Latin Rite religious institute founded in the late nineteenth century by Italian priest Saint John Bosco to help poor children during the Industrial Revolution.
His beatification was celebrated in 1983 and he was later canonized as a saint on 1 October 2000 in Saint Peter's Square.
Luigi Versiglia was born on 5 June 1873 in Oliva Gessi in Pavia. He served as an altar server in his childhood. In 1885 his parents sent him to school at one of the oratories that the Salesians of Don Bosco managed though he never entertained notions of becoming a priest instead of a veterinarian as he wished.He studied there in Valdocco from 1885 to 1889 before deciding to become a Salesian himself. But Saint Giovanni Bosco also noticed Versiglia's diligence and saw something in him that he wanted to discuss with the child. He told him that he wanted to meet with him soon to tell him important. This happened in 1887 though the actual meeting never took place for Bosco fell ill and died in 1888. Versiglia wondered from that point what it was Bosco wished to speak with him about.
Oliva Gessi is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Pavia in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 50 km south of Milan and about 20 km south of Pavia. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 196 and an area of 3.9 km².
Pavia is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy in northern Italy, 35 kilometres south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It has a population of c. 73,000. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards from 572 to 774.
An altar server is a lay assistant to a member of the clergy during a Christian liturgy. An altar server attends to supporting tasks at the altar such as fetching and carrying, ringing the altar bell, among other things. A young male altar server is commonly called an altar boy, whereas a young female altar server is commonly called an altar girl.
He entered the order after Blessed Michele Rua received him into it.He made his solemn profession on 11 October 1889 and he received his doctorate in philosophical studies from the Gregorian in Rome in 1893 (he was there since 1890). His ordination to the priesthood was celebrated on 21 December 1895 and he was later appointed as novice master at Genzano in Rome from 1896 until 1905 where he became known for his strict austerities and discipline. But Versiglia needed to receive a special dispensation to be ordained since he was under the canonical age requirement.
Blessed Michele Rua was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and professed member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Rua was a student under Saint Giovanni Bosco and was also the latter's first collaborator in the order's founding as well as one of his closest friends. He served as the first Rector Major of the Salesians following Bosco's death in 1888. He was responsible for the expansion of the Salesians and the order had grown to a significant degree around the world at the time he died. Rua served as a noted spiritual director and leader for the Salesians known for his austerities and rigid adherence to the rule. It was for this reason that he was nicknamed, 'the living rule'.
A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a variety of names for doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.
The Pontifical Gregorian University is a higher education ecclesiastical school located in Rome, Italy. It was originally a part of the Roman College founded in 1551 by Ignatius of Loyola, and included all grades of schooling. The university division of philosophy and theology of the Roman College was given Papal approval in 1556, making it the first university founded by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In 1584 the Roman College was given a grandiose new home by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it was renamed. It was already making its mark not only in sacred but also in natural science.
He led the first expedition for Salesian missionaries into China in 1906 and arrived at Macau on 7 January.The priest began his work and established a motherhouse for the order at Macau while opening a new mission in the Shaoguan region where Pope Benedict XV appointed him as its first apostolic vicar in 1920. Versiglia received his episcopal consecration in 1921 at the Canton Cathedral where the Salesian Servant of God Carlo Braga was stationed at the organ for the event. He founded an orphanage as well as several aged care homes and two leper colonies. But he tended to the needs of his people and served in various capacities for them such as their gardener or barber.
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
Macau or Macao, officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the western side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With a population of 653,100 in an area of 32.9 km2 (12.7 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.
Pope Benedict XV, born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, was head of the Catholic Church from 3 September 1914 until his death in 1922. His pontificate was largely overshadowed by World War I and its political, social, and humanitarian consequences in Europe.
He and Callisto Caravario - fellow Salesian whom he knew well - were travelling at noon on 25 February 1930 via boat along a river to the Lin-Chow mission when Bolshevik pirates boarded their ship.The pirates planned on abducting and enslaving three girls on the ship but the two priest shielded them. But the pirates managed to subdue the pair and knocked them unconscious after striking them with their rifle butts before binding them and going to rummage through their possessions in their luggage. The men discarded the crucifixes as the men came to with the two hearing each other's confession. The pair were then dragged ashore into a thicket where Versiglia knew he would die so pleaded for the men to spare Caravario. But the retort came: "No" because "the foreign devils must all die". Five rifle shots ended the pair's lives. Their remains were not discovered until 27 February and the girls captured were released within the week.
A thicket is a very dense stand of trees or tall shrubs, often dominated by only one or a few species, to the exclusion of all others. They may be formed by species that shed large numbers of highly viable seeds that are able to germinate in the shelter of the maternal plants.
His remains were interred at the Lin Kong-How Cathedral but the Red Guards vandalized this place during the Cultural Revolution.
On 2 October 2010 the Salesian cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun led a torchlight commemoration to the pair on 2 October 2010 to mark a decade since the pair were canonized as saints.
The process for the pair's canonization opened in both Shaozhou and in Turin in an informative process that spanned from 31 December 1934 until its closure in 1935 while his spiritual writings received theological approval on 18 March 1949. The formal introduction to the cause came on 13 June 1952 under Pope Pius XII and he became titled as a Servant of God. There was also a second process that was held but split into two: one was held in Hong Kong from 1953 to 1954 and the other was held in Turin from 1953 to 1957. Both processes received validation from the Congregation for Rites on 5 July 1963 when the cause moved to Rome for further investigation.
The officials from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and their consultants approved the cause on 3 February 1976 with the C.C.S. members alone meeting and approving the cause on 11 May 1976. Pope Paul VI approved their beatification on 13 November 1976 determining that the two were killed "in odium fidei" (in hatred of the faith) but died in 1978 before he could celebrate their beatification as did his successor Pope John Paul I a month later. Pope John Paul II celebrated the beatification on 15 May 1983.
Their canonization would have depended on one miracle being attributed to them but this was waivered. Their cause was unified to that of others killed in China on 11 January 2000 with John Paul II signing a decree "de signis" on 22 January 2000 which waivered the required miracle for canonization. The date for the celebration was determined at a gathering of cardinals held on 10 March 2000 and Versiglia - and that of 119 others - was canonized as a saint in Saint Peter's Square on 1 October 2000.
Blessed August Franciszek Maria Anna Józef Kajetan Czartoryski was a Polish Roman Catholic professed member of the Salesians of Don Bosco and a noble prince. He was born in Paris during his house's exile and came from a notable house; his constant frail health saw much of his childhood being shuttled to various health spas. The future Saint Raphael Kalinowski tutored him; the prince turned to the priesthood instead of pursuing the aristocratic life.
Saint Joseph Cafasso was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who was a significant social reformer in Turin. He was one of the so-called "Social Saints" who emerged during that particular era. He is known as the "Priest of the Gallows" due to his extensive work with those prisoners who were condemned to death. But he was also known for his excessive mortifications despite his frail constitution: he neglected certain foods and conditions to remain as frugal and basic as possible unless a doctor ordered otherwise.
Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac City, or simply DBTI-TARLAC, is an all-male private Catholic pre-school, grade school and high school. Co-Ed for Senior High since 2016. The first ever Don Bosco school in the Philippines, it is the only academic-technical school in Tarlac. Its campus is located in Sto. Cristo, Tarlac City, Philippines.
Štěpán Trochta was a Czech Roman Catholic cardinal in the former Czechoslovakia who served as the Bishop of Litoměřice from 1947 until his death and was a professed member from the Salesians of Don Bosco. Trochta was considered a staunch defender of ecclesial rights and privileges in Czechoslovakia which the communist regime had sought to limit and suppress; Pope Paul VI labelled Trochta after his death as a "defender of the faith" due to his commitment in standing up for Church rights and beliefs. He was a prisoner of war during World War II and for the decades after was stopped from performing his ecclesial duties until the end of his life when he was permitted to do so.
Saint Giuseppe Marello was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of Acqui from 1889 until his death and was also the founder of the Oblates of Saint Joseph. Marello served as an aide to the Bishop of Asti prior to his episcopal appointment after Pope Leo XIII named him to head the Acqui diocese; the pope had known Marello while a cardinal when the pair participated in the First Vatican Council more than a decade before. He became a proponent for the poor and destitute and never stopped to render his assistance to those who needed it the most; this was something he undertook even in his childhood. Bishop Marello issued several pastoral letters that dealt with a range of issues such as catechism and organized one big pastoral visitation to visit all parishes in his diocese.
Jan Leopold Tyranowski was a Polish Roman Catholic. He was an ardent admirer and follower of the Discalced Carmelite charism – but was not of their order – and was a central figure in the spiritual formation of Karol Józef Wojtyła who became Pope John Paul II. He was both the leader and student mentor of his friend's college parish of Saint Stanisław Kostka in the 1940s as well as a small group he ran on the behalf of the Salesians of Don Bosco during the wartime period.
Carlo Braga was a professed priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco and known as "the Little Don Bosco of China" for his missionary works towards the children in China. He died in the Philippines in 1971.
Stanisław Kazimierczyk was a Polish Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Canons Regular of the Lateran. He became noted for his ardent devotions to both the Eucharist and to his personal patron Saint Stanisław as well as for his charitable dedication to the ill and poor of Kraków.
Blessed Luigi Maria Monti was an Italian Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception. He was referred to as "Father" despite not being an ordained priest. Monti served as a nurse for most of his life and aided the ill in the Santo Spirito hospital in Rome while he was there and also worked to tend to ill people during the Brescia cholera epidemic in 1855. Monti also considered entering the religious life and joined the order of Saint Lodovico Pavoni for a brief period of time though became a religious of his own order later on.
Giuseppe Guarino was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and cardinal who served as the Archbishop of Messina from 1875 until his death. He was also the founder of the Apostoli della Sacra Famiglia. Guarino dedicated himself to proper religious formation for both priests and nuns while serving in both Siracusa and Messina and was known for reigniting the faith in those who were considered cut off from the faith.
Egidio Viganò was a Roman Catholic Priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco, who was the 7th Rector Major of that Order from 1977 until his death in 1995. Although he was an Italian, he considered Chile as his second home country because he moved there when he was 19 years old. He was also confessor of Pope John Paul II, a prominent theologian and writer. During the first centenary of the death of Don Bosco (1988), Pope John Paul II dedicated to him the Apostolic Letter Iuvenum Patris : "To our beloved son Egidio Vigano, Rector Major of the Salesian Society on the First Centenary of the death of Saint John Bosco - John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff." He participated also in the Second Vatican Council.
Blessed Filippo Rinaldi was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Salesians of Don Bosco; he served as the third Rector Major for the order from 1922 until his death in 1931. He founded the Secular Institute of Don Bosco Volunteers. Rinaldi was close friends since his childhood to Saint Giovanni Bosco and Paolo Albera and it was Bosco who guided Rinaldi who was torn in his adolescence between the farming life and the religious life. The order held him in high esteem from the outset and noted the potential within him as well as seeing the charism of Bosco encompassed in Rinaldi.
Saint Leonardo Murialdo was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Congregation of Saint Joseph - also known as the Murialdines. Murialdo's call to the priesthood did not manifest until late in his education in Savona; he pursued his ecclesial studies and was ordained as such in 1851 before dedicating himself to social work alongside the poor and with adolescent men. This put him into contact with social luminaries such as Saint Giovanni Bosco and Saint Giuseppe Cafasso who held Murialdo in great esteem. His zeal for social concern saw his frequent calls for an end to worker exploitation and the granting of further rights to workers in factories.
Blessed Luigi Variara was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He served for most of his life as part of the missions in Colombia where he worked with lepers and the children of outcast lepers. He was ordained as a priest while serving there and made it his mission to provide both relief and consolation.
Blessed Bronisław Markiewicz was a Polish Roman Catholic priest and a professed member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Markiewicz established the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel that devoted itself to the principles and teachings of Saint John Bosco as well as the figure of Saint Michael the Archangel.
Saint Francesco Spinelli was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. Spinelli became close contemporaries of Saint Geltrude Comensoli and Blessed Luigi Maria Palazzolo and had a previous collaboration with Comensoli in which the two established a religious institute in Bergamo before a rift between members caused Spinelli to distance himself from its work and leave.
Blessed Titus Zeman was a Slovak Roman Catholic priest and a professed member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Zeman studied in Italian cities prior to his ordination and worked in Slovakia to protect fellow Salesians after the communist regime outlawed religious orders. He was arrested after attempting to send Salesians out of the nation and was imprisoned from 1952 until 1964 and died due to poor health sustained from the prison conditions. He has been acclaimed as a defender of religious liberties.
Elia Comini was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Salesians of Don Bosco. He served as a teacher after his ordination in two different areas until he returned to his hometown towards the end of the devastating World War II to tend to wounded and displaced people. But the fierce fighting between the Nazis and Allies plus the partisan forces saw Comini and fellow priest Nicola Capelli captured and murdered after the Nazis made accusations of the pair being spies.
Oreste Marengo was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and professed member from the Salesians of Don Bosco. He served as the Bishop of Diburugarh from 1951 until his transferral in 1964 to Tezpur where he served until 1969. From that point until 1979 he served as the apostolic administrator for the new Tura see. He was dedicated since his childhood to joining the missions and in his late adolescence was permitted to go to the missions in India. Marengo often trekked on foot to remote villages where he evangelized to the people and provided for their educational needs as best he could. He was reluctant to accept his episcopal nomination but did not cease his catechizing and evangelizing in his dioceses. His time spent in India saw him learn prior to his ordination under the Venerable Stefano Ferrando and the Servant of God Costantino Vendrame.