Baldo, Giuseppe, Bl.
BALDO, GIUSEPPE, BL.
Priest and founder of the Little Daughters of Saint Joseph; b. Puegnago (near Brescia), Lombardy, Italy, Feb. 19, 1843; d. Ronco all'Adige near Verona, Oct. 24, 1915. Son of the farmers Angelo Baldo and his wife Hippolita Casa, Baldo entered the seminary of Verona (1859) and was ordained with papal indult for the Diocese of Verona in 1865 at age twenty-two. After serving as a parish priest for a time, he was appointed vice-rector of the seminary. During his decade of teaching, Baldo wrote books on spirituality and pedagogy. In 1877, he asked for and received a parochial position at Ronco all'Adige. Although he was contemplative and devoted to the Eucharist, he was also active in social work for the poor and marginalized. He established a mutual benefit society, schools for adults and children, a nursery, and a farm loan bank. He organized the Servants of Charity of Our Lady of Succor to care for the homebound sick, then founded a hospital (1888) and the Little Daughters of St. Joseph to staff it (1894). Baldo also established an Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, a Blessed Sacrament Confraternity, and a Society of the Forty Hours devotion. Baldo's holiness was especially evident in his patient endurance of illness during the last two years of his life. In 1950, his mortal remains were enshrined in his parish chapel. He was beatified by John Paul II, Oct. 31, 1989.
Bibliography: f. malgeri, Don Giuseppe Baldo Prete di Ronco all'Adige (Turin 1995). e. valentini, Il messaggio pedagogico sociale del servo di Dio, Don Giuseppe Baldo (Verona 1956).
[k. i. rabenstein]