Nascimbeni, Giuseppe, Bl.

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Priest, founder of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family (Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia ); b. March 22, 1851, Torri del Benaco, Italy; d. Jan. 21, 1922, Castelletto del Garda, northern Italy.

Giuseppe, the son of Antonio Nascimbeni and Amidaea Sartori, completed his seminary training at Verona, Venetia. Following his ordination in 1874, he taught and served as priest in the parish of San Pietro di Lavagno. On Nov. 2, 1877, Nascimbeni was sent to the small village of Castelletto, where he remained the rest of his life as a teacher and associate, then as pastor.

He was an exemplary parish priest, created protonotary apostolic by Pius X in 1911, who was active in advancing modernization in the area. He helped establish the local bank and post office, promoted the olive oil industry, urged the installation of modern utilities, and oversaw the construction of the parish church (190508), an oratory, a nursery school, an orphanage, and a nursing home.

After trying and failing to persuade several congregations to send nuns to the area, on the advice of his bishop, Cardinal Bartolomeo Bacilieri, he founded (Nov. 6,1892) the institute of Little Sisters of the Holy Family with four sisters, including Maria Mantovani. The congregation works in hundreds of institutes in Italy and abroad training girls, caring for the elderly, and teaching.

Nascimbeni, who cared for his flock spiritually and materially, died after a stroke (1916) and long illness. His mausoleum is in the chapel of the institute at Castelletto. Pope John Paul II, praising Father Giuseppe as a pastor of consummate charity and virtue, beatified him at Verona, April 17, 1988.

Feast: Jan. 20.

Bibliography: a. pronzato, Il diritto di chiamarsi padre: profilo di mons. Giuseppe Nascimbeni, fondatore delle Piccole suore della Sacra Famiglia (Turin 1980). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1988) 586. L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, 15 (1988) 2,5.

[k. i. rabenstein]