Monday 4 June 2018

# Saints

Saint Filippo Smaldone

Image: San Filippo Smaldone

The 4th of June is the feast day of Saint Filippo Smaldone (27 July 1848 – 4 June 1923). He is the patron saint of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, deaf, and mute people.

He was born in Naples, Italy. During that time there was a period of upheaval and unrest in Italy and in the Church. He became a priest and while he was in the seminary, he assisted the deaf and the mute community in Naples. He spent so much time on this that he nearly didn’t pass his exams. When he was ordained, he continued to help the sick of the community. He contracted the plaque after it hit the city, but was cured after praying to Our Lady of Pompeii to whom he had a special devotion to. He continued his work on the education of the deaf and mute, but he became discouraged by its difficulty and wanted to go on foreign missions instead. However, his confessor dissuaded him and Saint Filippo continued to help the deaf and mute. He trained a group of nuns to do the work which grew into a religious foundation. The work later expanded to include blind, orphaned and abandoned children.