This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28 -- St. Gaspar del Bufalo

Because he was born on the Feast of the Epiphany, his full name included all three kings of the Orient: Gaspare, Melchiore, Baltasare. His friend Francesco Albertini introduced him to the devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus, which had been preserved on the cloak of Longinus; Longinus was the soldier who pierced Jesus' side with a spear. The cloak itself disappeared in the revolutions of 1848 but Gaspar's groups -- the Congregation of the Precious Blood and the Institute of Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood -- are still active around the world.

The Pope and Catholic organizations were suppressed when Napoleon invaded Italy. The Little Corsican demanded that all clergy sign oaths of allegiance to him -- rather than do so, Gaspar accepted exile. I'm not sure that he was as accepting of four years in Napoleon's prison, but he got that too. He returned to Rome when the Imperial Runt was himself exiled and the Holy Father restored. Pope Pius VII invited Gaspar to open Precious Blood houses throughout Italy. He figured one house in every archdiocese, and recommended the least moral town in each. Gaspar opened six in Naples, which plainly says something about that region.

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