Tadini, Arcángelo, Bl.

views updated


Diocesan priest and founder of the Workers of the Holy House of Nazareth; b. Verolanuova near Brescia, Lombardy, Italy, Oct. 12, 1846; d. Botticino Sera, Brescia, May 20, 1912. Arcángelo was of an Italian noble family headed by Pietro Tadini who was a widower with seven children when he married his second wife, Antonia Gadola. She bore him four children, the youngest of whom was Arcángelo. Peitro, Arcangelo's father, was the communal secretary and a patriot during the struggle for Italian independence. He died in 1860.

A sickly child, Arcángelo studied locally until he entered secondary school at Lovere. He began his seminary studies in Brescia at age eighteen (1864). An accident during these years left him with a limp. He was ordained in 1870, and following recuperation from illness, he served as a parish priest and elementary school teacher in the mountain village of Lodrino in Voltrompia (187173), Santa Maria della Noce near Brescia (187385), and for a brief time at S. Nazzaro in Brescia. In 1885, he was transferred to Botticino Sera where he ministered for the rest of his life (18871912). There he proved himself a zealous pastor, who preached with a warmth and conviction that energized his parish to come alive with many activities including a choir, catechetical classes for all ages, and various confraternities.

Tadini gave flesh to the teachings of rerum novarum (Leo XIII, 1891) by promoting the sanctification of daily work. He established an agricultural cooperative (1893), built a textile mill with his own inheritance to provide work for the unemployed (1894), and acquired the adjacent villa to house the female workers. To ensure the continuance of his work, Father Tadini founded the Suore Operaie della Santa Casa di Nazareth in 1900. The sisters worked alongside those they sought to evangelize by their example. The order operates in Italy, England, Switzerland, Africa, and Latin America.

Tadini, the "Apostle of the Working World," was buried in the cemetery of Botticino Sera. His cause for canonization was opened on Jan. 13, 1963. He was beatified by John Paul II, Oct. 3, 1999.

Feast: May 21.

Bibliography: l. fossati, Arcangelo Tadini e la sua opera sociale (Brescia 1977). m. franco and a comuzzi, Il prete sociale e le Operaie di Dio (Brescia 1990). L'Osservatore Romano, daily edition (in Italian) (October 6, 1999): 2.

[k. i. rabenstein]