Saint Filippo Smaldone

St. Filippo Smaldone (1848–1923) was born in Naples, Italy, during a time of upheaval and unrest both in Italy and in the Church. He decided to become a priest, and while in seminary he took on a personal apostolate of assisting the deaf and mute community in Naples. He dedicated so much time to this work that he barely passed his exams. After his ordination he continued to assist the marginalized of his community, especially the sick. When the plague hit his city he contracted it, however, he was healed after praying to Our Lady of Pompeii, to whom he had a special devotion. He continued his pioneer work in the education of the deaf and mute, though he became discouraged at the difficulty of the task and considered going into the foreign missions instead. Dissuaded from the abandonment of his work by his confessor, St. Filippo committed his life's mission to the needs of the deaf and mute, training a group of nuns in the work which grew into a new religious foundation. He later expanded his work to include children that were blind, orphaned, and abandoned. His feast day is June 4th.
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