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Dusmet, Giuseppe Benedetto, Bl.


Cardinal, archbishop of Catania; b. Aug. 15, 1818, Palermo, Sicily, Italy; d. April 4, 1894, Catania, Sicily. Giuseppe, the son of the Marquis Luigi Dusmet and his noble wife Maria Dragonetti, was taught by the Benedictines of San Martino delle Scale at Badia from age five, then stayed to pronounce his vows (Aug. 10, 1840). He was ordained priest in 1842. After his election as prior in 1858, he reformed San Nicoló Abbey in Catania. He left the abbey in protest of government interference before it was closed like those of all religious orders. Although he was consecrated archbishop of Catania (March 10, 1861) and received the cardinal's red hat (1888), he remained a humble Benedictine monk at heart. Thereafter he was even more devoted to the poor, the suffering, and his order. During a cholera epidemic, he provided for those in need, and he ministered to victims of earthquake and epidemic in the streets. He played a large role in reforming the Roman Benedictine College of Sant'Anselmo and the Confederation of Benedictine Congregations. The cardinal's remains rest in Catania's cathedral. His cause was introduced by Archbishop Carmelo Patanè (Jan. 7, 1931), and he was declared venerable by Pope Paul VI (July 15, 1965) and beatified by John Paul II, Sept. 25, 1988. Dusmet is the patron of evangelical charity.

Bibliography: A Benedictine of Stanbrook Abbey, A Sicilian Borromeo, the Servant of God, Joseph Benedict Dusmet, Archbishop of Catania and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church (London 1938). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1988): 1092.

[k. i. rabenstein]

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