Bonilli, Pietro, Bl.

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Parish priest and founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Spoleto; b. San Lorenzo (di Trevi), Umbria, Italy, March 15, 1841; d. Spoleto, Umbria, Jan. 5, 1935. Pietro, son of Sebastian Bonilli and Maria Allegretti, attended the diocesan seminary and was ordained priest in 1863. From 1863 to 1898 he served San Michele Arcangelo Parish in Cannaiola di Trevi, the most depressed area of the Diocese of Spoleto. There he founded the Little Orphanage of Nazareth (1884) and the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family (1888) to staff it and expand his ministry to the poor. He also opened (1893) a hospice for the deaf and blind, which the sisters moved to Spoleto. He followed them and was appointed canon of Spoleto cathedral and rector of the regional seminary. Before his death he was honored (1908) by Pope St. pius x. Bonilli's tomb is in his church of San Michele Arcangelo. He was beatified by John Paul II, April 24, 1988.

Bibliography: L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 16 (1988): 12.

[k. i. rabenstein]