+ Olinto was the son of a wealthy physician in Pallestrina, Italy. After his father’s death, he was educated by his uncle, the archbishop of Pallestrina.
+ After completing seminary studies in Rome (where one of his classmates was the future Pope Saint John XXIII), he was ordained a priest in 1904.
+ Serving as both a seminary professor and a teacher of small children, he later became a parish priest in the diocese of Bologna. Olinto showed special care for the poor, homeless and marginalized of the city, helping to fund shelters, homes for the needy, and chapels.
+ Later in his life, Father Olinto would sit on a stool outside his church, preaching against indifference to the suffering of others. While some objected to his work and condemned it as being “too evangelical,” he had the support of his superiors and of Pope John XXIII.
+ Blessed Olinto Marella died on September 6, 1969, and was beatified in 2020.
For prayer and reflection
“May his extraordinary witness be a model for many priests, called to be humble and courageous servants of the People of God.”—Pope Francis
O God, light of the faithful and shepherd of souls,
who set blessed Olinto in the Church
to feed your sheep by his words and form them by his example,
grant that through his intercession
we may keep the faith he taught by his words
and follow the way he showed by his example.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.