Priest and Founder(1565-1619)
+ Hippolytus (or Ippolito) was born in Florence, Italy, to a poor silk weaver. As a child he enjoyed teaching catechism to other local children and wanted to enter a religious community, but this would never come about.
+ In 1577 he received the gift of the use of a church which he could use for his catechetical efforts by the archbishop of Florence (who would later become Pope Leo XI). It was during this time in his life, he discovered his vocation as an educator.
+ The educational program he worked to establish forever changed the face of education in Florence and beyond. His success and methods won him enemies, however, and he was accused of embracing the ideas of Martin Luther and there was even an attempt made on his life.
+ To help advance his mission, he established a new religious community—the Congregation of Christian Doctrine.
+ Blessed Hippolytus Galantini, who was called the “Apostle of Florence” by Pope Leo XI, died on March 20, 1619. He was beatified in 1825 and is honored as one of the heavenly patrons of teachers.
For prayer and reflection
“Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Matthew 5:19b
O God, who raised up blessed Hippolytus in your Church to show others the way of salvation, grant us, by his example, so to follow Christ the master, that we may come with our neighbor into your presence. 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 Holy Men and Women—For Educators)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.