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Bellesini, Stefano, Bl.

BELLESINI, STEFANO, BL.

Priest; b. Trent, Italy, Nov. 25, 1774; d. Genazzano, Italy, Feb. 2, 1840. Aloisio Giuseppe Bellesini was the son of Giuseppe and Maria Ursula (Meichembeck) Bellesini. After joining the augustinians in 1790, he took the name Stefano. During his theological studies at Bologna, the forces of the French Revolution forced him home to Trent, where, as a deacon, he did much preaching. He was ordained in 1797. During the suppression of the religious orders, he lived as a secular priest and established free schools for the Christian education of youth. His success led to his appointment by the Austrian government as inspector of all schools in Trent. In 1817, when the Augustinians were reestablished in the States of the Church, Stefano went there, and became master of novices successively in Rome, in Città della Pieve, and in Genazzano at the basilica of Our Mother of Good Counsel, where he was appointed pastor in 1830. His zeal in caring for the sick during a typhoid epidemic led to his fatal contraction of the disease. He was beatified Dec. 27, 1904.

Feast: Feb. 3.

Bibliography: f. balzofiore, Della vita Stefano Bellesini (Rome 1868). p. billeri, Vita del Beato Stefano Bellesini (Rome 1904). a. borzi, Un uomo per gli altri (Genazzano, Italy 1973). d. riccardi, Un santo tra poverie ragazzi. Vita del beato Stefano Bellesini agostiniano (Milan 1970). c. vivaldelli, Trento fra siori e pezotéri: Stefano Bellesini e il primo risveglio sociale del Trentino (Trent 1974).

[m. j. halphen]

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