Rinaldi, Filippo, Bl.
RINALDI, FILIPPO, BL.
Salesian priest; b. May 28, 1856 at Lu near Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy; d. Dec. 5, 1931, Turin, Italy.
The eighth of the nine children of the farmers Christoforo Rinaldi and Antonia Brezzi, Rinaldi attended the Salesian school at nearby Mirabello for a short time in 1866. Rinaldi became a priest because of the persistence of (St.) John bosco, who recognized his vocation. Rinaldi began religious studies with the Salesians at Sampierdarena in spring 1877 and proved to be an outstanding student. From Sampierdarena he went to the novitiate at San Benigno Canavese (1879), where the novice master chose him as his assistant. Rinaldi pronounced his vows in 1880, then continued his studies of philosophy and theology, and was ordained priest in 1882. Immediately thereafter he was placed in charge of late vocations at Mathi (1883–88), then Turin.
Father Rinaldi was sent to Sarria, Spain (1889–92), to assist the rector. There he established schools and two new houses (Gerona and Santander), and attracted many vocations, including that of the future saint St. Joseph calasanctius. Thereafter he was provincial for Iberia (1892–1901), during which he set up sixteen houses in Spain and three in Portugal; founded Lecturas Catolicas, a weekly newspaper for youth, as well as a library for students; and fostered the expansion of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Spain.
In 1901, Rinaldi returned to Turin when he was chosen prefect general, an office he held for twenty years under Rectors General Michael Rua and Paul Albera. He spurred the spiritual development and the commitment of Salesian cooperators by promoting congresses and organizing reunions of past pupils. In spite of his other work, Rinaldi was a popular confessor and spiritual director and taught regularly at the Foglizzo seminary.
On May 24, 1922, Father Rinaldi was elected the third successor of John Bosco. He directed the Salesians with perspicacity in answer to the appeal of Pope pius xi, with special reference to the Asian and Eastern missions. He opened the Cardinal Cagliero Institute (1922 at Ivrea) to train new missionaries, and similar training centers at Penango (1925), Foglizzo (1926), Astudillo, Spain (1928), Shrigley, England (1929), and elsewhere, and fostered missionary vocations in various ways to staff the new missions in Porto Velho, Brazil (1926), Madras and Krishnagar, India (1928), Japan (1928), and Ratburi, Siam (Thailand, 1930).
He also served as apostolic delegate to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and encouraged their expansion, as well as that of the Don Bosco Union among teachers. During his tenure as rector general, Don Bosco was beatified (June 2, 1929). The order grew from 6,000 to 10,000 members during Rinaldi's tenure and added over 250 new houses.
This dynamic leader of the Salesians died at age seventy-five. His cause was initiated in 1947 and ended in his beatification by John Paul II, April 29, 1990.
Feast: Dec. 5 (Salesians).
Bibliography: Works. Quaderno Carpanera, verbali redatti da Luigina Carpanera, Documenti e testi V, (Rome 1980). Don Rinaldi ci parla ancora (Palermo 1984). Literature. Lo spirito di Don Bosco nel cuore del beato Don Rinaldi, ed. s. maggio (Turin 1990). r. alberdi, Don Filippo Rinaldi en Barcelona-Sarriá (1889–92) (Barcelona 1990). a. l'arco, Il Beato Filippo Rinaldi (Castellammare di Stabia, Italy 1990). j. m. beslay, Le Pere Rinaldi (Lyons 1950). t. bosco, Profili di santità (Turin 1977). Die Güte Don Boscos in Person, tr. r. dafelmair (Vienna 1990). l. cÀstano, Don Rinaldi. Vivente immagine di Don Bosco (Turin 1980). Beato Don Filippo Rinaldi (Turin 1990). e. ceria, Vita del Servo di Dio Sac. Filippo Rinaldi terzo successore di San Giovanni Bosco (Turin 1951). m. collino, Il beato Filippo Rinaldi e l'Istituto delle Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice (Rome 1990). e. dal covolo, Il beato don Filippo Rinaldi, maestro di profondità interiore, testimone di vita (Rovigo 1990). l. dalcerri, Un maestro di vita interiore (Rome 1990). a. fantozzi, Un uomo di fede Don Filippo Rinaldi (Rome 1990). p. m. rinaldi, Sospinto dall'amore (Turin 1979, 1990). By Love Compelled: The Life of Blessed Philip R., Third Successor of St. John Bosco (New Rochelle, N.Y. 1992). Droga milosci (Krakow 1992). p. schinetti, La spiritualità di Don Filippo Rinaldi e la Volontaria di Don Bosco oggi (Rome 1986). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1990) 578.
[k. i. rabenstein]