Blessed Thomas Maria Fusco
Bl. Thomas Maria Fusco (1831-1891) was born to a noble and pious family in Italy, the seventh of eight children. He was orphaned at an early age and raised by his uncle, a priest, who oversaw his education. He had a deep love for the faith, especially to the Passion of Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows. He became a priest at the age of 24 and opened a school in his own home. He later became an itinerant missionary throughout southern Italy. After traveling for a number of years he opened another school, this time to train priests on how to be good confessors. He also founded the Priestly Society of the Catholic Apostolate to support the missions, which gained papal approval. During his work with the poor he discerned a call to start a new religious order of sisters, the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood, to minister to orphaned children. In addition to all of this, Fusco was also a parish priest, a confessor to a group of cloistered nuns, and a spiritual father to a lay group at the nearby Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He died of liver disease at the age of 59. He was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 2001. His feast day is February 24.
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