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Casani, Pietro (Peter), Bl.


Priest, assistant to founder of Pious Schools, educator, and preacher; b. Lucca, Italy, Sept. 8, 1570; d. Rome, Italy, Oct. 17, 1647. Of noble birth, Pietro was 20 years old when he decided to dedicate himself completely to the service of God and entered the Congregation of the Mother of God in Lucca, founded by St. John leonardi, for whom Casani served as secretary. After Casani was ordained a priest (1600), he centered his services especially on hearing the confessions of and doing pastoral work with youth. In Lucca, he established a congregation of Our Lady of the Snows. His way of life was marked by his enthusiasm for priestly and religious vocations, which he fostered by word and example.

In the union of the Luccan Congregation with the Pious Schools founded by St. Joseph Calasanctius in 1614, Casani served as secretary general and rector of St. Pantaleon in Rome. When the union was dissolved in 1617, Casani remained a Piarist and dedicated himself to the Christian education of poor children and the life of poverty. Casani worked closely with joseph calasanctius, who appointed him the first rector of the mother-house of St. Pantaleon in Rome, first assistant general, first novice master, and first provincial of Genoa and Naples and commissioner general for the foundations in Central Europe. Casani traveled throughout Tuscany, Lombardy, Liguria, Germany, and Poland where he founded schools and novitiates. A theologian, he wrote fluently in both Latin and Italian, and he left manuscripts that credit him as a writer and mathematician. His last few years were spent in Rome at the side of Calasanctius, bearing with him the suffering and troubles of the order.

He died at the motherhouse, where his body was interred in the church. His cause was opened shortly after his death by Calasanctius, but Calasanctius's death and loss of significant documents delayed the process until it was introduced in 1922. Pope John Paul II beatified him on Oct. 1, 1995.

Bibliography: Epistolario di Calsanzio, ed. l. picanyol, 9v. (Rome 19501956). g. sÁtha, San José de Calasanz, su obra, tr. c. aguilera and j. centelles (Madrid 1956). Memorie storiche P. Casani by an anon. Piarist (Rome 1904); Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1995): 72122.

[l. mesko/

r. p. mateo]

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