Bufalo, Gaspare del, St.

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Founder of the Society of the precious blood (CPPS); b. Rome, Jan. 6, 1786; d. there, Dec. 28, 1837. He was educated at the Collegio Romano and while yet a seminarian he catechized, visited hospitals, and reactivated the Santa Galla hospice for homeless men. After ordination (1808) he took as spiritual director Canon Francesco Albertini, known for his devotion to the Precious Blood, and assisted him in establishing a pious union of the Precious Blood in the church of San Nicola in Carcere. As a canon of the church of San Marco, Gaspare was summoned to swear allegiance to napoleon i when the latter gained control of the states of the church. For his refusal he spent about four years (181014) in exile and prison. Returning to Rome, he was assigned by pius vii to preaching missions in the Papal States. Encouraged by the pope, Cardinal Cristaldi, and others, he established the Society of the Precious Blood (August 15, 1815) and opened its first house in the monastery of San Felice in Giano (Umbria). He also advised Bl. Maria De mattias to found the Precious Blood Sisters. The rest of his life was devoted to preaching, spiritual direction, and defense of his society against the sharp objections that were made because of its title. Outstanding was his missionary activity in the bandit-infested areas of the Papal States and the kingdom of Naples. Among his friends were St. Vincent pallotti and Vincenzo strambi. He was beatified on Dec.18, 1904, and canonized on June 12, 1954. Pope John XXIII called him the greatest apostle of the Precious Blood.

Feast: January 2.

See Also: precious blood, iii (devotion to).

Bibliography: g. de libero, S. Gaspare de Bufalo romano e le sua missione nel sangue di Cristo (Rome 1954). v. sardi, Herald of the Precious Blood: Gaspar del Bufalo, tr. e. g. kaiser (Minneapolis 1954). g. piccini, L'origine della maschera di Stenterello (Florence 1898, rep. Bologna 1975). a. de santa cruz, Missionário de Sangue: Sāo Gaspar del Bufalo (Curitiba 1975). g. papÀsogli, Vita e tempi di san Gaspare Del Bufalo (Turin 1977).

[a. j. pollack]