The feast day of St. Gaspar Bertoni is celebrated on June 12.
St. Gaspar was born in Verona in the Republic of Venice on Oct. 9, 1777 into a wealthy family. His baby sister died leaving him an only child. After his 1st communion at age 11, St. Gaspar was called into a mystical union with Christ. He entered the seminary at 18. During his first year as a seminarian the French army invaded his country. He dedicated himself to caring for the sick and wounded, becoming a member of a Gospel Fraternity for the Hospitals.
St. Gaspar was ordained a priest on Sept. 20, 1800. He was put in charge of youth formation. He also became the spiritual director of the religious community of St. Joseph’s convent. Here he met Leapoldina Naudet and was her spiritual guide. He helped her found the Sisters of the Holy Family. St. Gaspar also directed Servant of God Teodora Compostrini who founded the Community “Sorelle Minime” of the Charity of the Sorrowful Mother. By 1810, he became the spiritual director of the diocesan seminary.
St. Gaspar kept a spiritual diary in which he tells of his mystical gifts and his call to form a religious family. With the help of two companions he began the order in a church named “The Stigmata of St. Francis.” They began a tuition free school. They lived together in common, living a life of penance and contemplation.
St. Gaspar almost died from military fever. While he was sick he continued to counsel many people. The Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of Our Lord Jesus Christ was also known as the Stigmatines. It gradually spread from Verona to the United States, Brazil, Chile, The Philippines, south Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand.
St. Gaspar died in 1836 after the cholera outbreak of 1836. During his lifetime he was attributed with many miracles. He was canonized in 1954.
Love and fear…
Love will make us quicken our steps,
while fear will make us look where we are
setting our feet so that we shall not fall.
Quote of St. Teresa of Avila; Feast day October 15
June is the Month of the Sacred Heart.