BLESSED PHILIP RINALDI (1856-1931), priest
Today, the Church honors Blessed Philip Rinaldi, a student of Saint John Bosco and who also became vicar-general of the Salesian Order, living a life of holy and humble service to the Church.
Philip was born on May 28, 1856 in Piedmont, Italy. He met Don Bosco when he was five years old and intuitively understood the importance which Father Bosco would have in the future needs of the Church.
Though Philip felt a call to a religious vocation, he was torn in his decision and was seriously considering marriage, until he decided to become a disciple of Don Bosco at the age of twenty-two. He entered the Salesian Order, and, even before making his vows, he was made assistant novice master, was placed in charge of those with late vocations, and in 1882 was ordained a priest.
He became the Salesian provincial superior in Spain where he opened many new houses and then served as Vicar-General of the Salesians before becoming the Rector Major in 1922 as Don Bosco’s third successor, and the last person to have been personally trained by Father Bosco. In addition, Father Rinaldi gave the inspiration for creating an international Confederation which would be able to hand on from generation to generation the educational legacy of Saint John Bosco.
On December 5, 1931, Father Philip Rinaldi died of natural causes in Turin, Italy, and is currently interred in the Basilica of Mary Our Help in Turin.
Preferring to remain in the background of events and unnoticed in the crowd, Father Rinaldi’s humble and quiet leadership of the Salesian Order, combined with his tremendous saintly virtue and apostolic zeal, and a healing miracle attributed to him at the end of World War II, prompted his cause for canonization.
Father Rinaldi was once quoted as saying, “What must you do to have life? Before all else, the first thing you have to do is pray for courage every day to carry the cross the Lord has assigned you. Then let each of you do your own work really well, the work proper to your state, as God wants it, and according to your condition.”
Father Philip Rinaldi was beatified on April 29, 1990 by Pope St. John Paul II.
We commemorate his feastday on December 5.
(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com and vatican.va/roman_curia)
(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Men ~ religious)
“Lord God, You kept Blessed Philip faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May his prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”