Rev. Joseph Henchey, CSS
St. Gaspar Bertoni was born in Verona, Italy, October 9, 1777. He lived during one of the more challenging periods of history and sought to meet the terrible problems of his time with a response suggested to him from his vivid faith and ardent charity and concern for others.
In his spirit of abandonment to God, and service to the Church, he was guided by the Holy Spirit to found a Congregation called "Stigmatines", whom he wanted to be "Apostolic Missionaries for the Assistance of Bishops."
He was a man of deep prayer, much devoted to the Five Wounds of Christ (the Sacred Stigmata) and the Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph, Patrons of the Stigmatine Congregation. In the course of his lifetime, he was blessed by God with true mystical gifts, which led him to a very sublime level of union with God and service to others.
From the age of about 35, until his death at the age of 76, his life was a long succession of great physical suffering. Many times during this long period he was at the very threshold of death.
Even from his bed, and the long years that he was confined to his room, Fr. Bertoni continued his ministry, as teacher, even as preacher of what we might call "Directed Retreats," and especially as minister of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spiritual guide for the many who sought him out.
The synthesis of his response to God might be summed up in these words: a filial and confident abandonment into the hands of God, even in the most difficult circumstances of his life.
Pope John Paul II declared him "Saint" on November 1, 1989.
Short Biography by Rev. Donald Saulnier, CSS
In this wonderful short biography, Fr. Saulnier looks at Fr. Bertoni as a man ahead of his time; a man who jumped into the mainstream of the circumstances that enveloped him and worked to bring about positive changes. St. Gaspar was a man who was ‘doer’ in life, not afraid to struggle for his convictions, who believed so strongly in his goals that he sought to overcome all odds to achieve them. He was a man who found himself developing a deep sense of hope, which translated itself into action and a community of men, Priests and Brothers, which would continue to serve God, long after he returned to his Creator.
Biography by Rev. John Ceresatto, CSS
Fr. John Ceresatto's life as an Apostolic Missionary in young Churches - as well as his 'Popular' [but well documented] biography of St. Gaspar Bertoni, have both been an inspiration to generations of Stigmatines. After years of service in China, he then went directly to Thailand over 50 years ago - and is still working there. He is an accomplished linguist and musician. Like St. Gaspar, he was able to use these talents in his Apostolic Mission.
It is a joy to offer his work here. He presents Fr. Bertoni as the Apostolic Missionary to the Youth, and then to Religious and Clergy - and, finally, in 'every Ministry of the Word of God whatsoever'. This Missionary Development was lived in an intensification of St. Gaspar's mystical graces in his Apostolic Service.
Blessed Gaspar Bertoni
Short Biography by
Rev. Donald Saulnier, CSS
The Spiritual Profile of
St. Gaspar Bertoni:
Its Feature and Spirit
['Il volto e l'anima. Profilo spirituale di san Gaspare Bertoni]
Rev. John Ceresatto, CSS
Parts 1 & 2:
Documents in other Languages