+ Giacomo was born in Palermo, Italy, to a comfortable, middle-class family.
+ Following his mother’s death when Giacomo was only three, he received religious instruction from his father and learned a special care for the poor.
+ After completing medical school in 1851, and becoming a physician himself, he taught in the medical school of the Royal University of Palermo.
+ Following his father’s death, Giacomo returned home to take over management of his family’s affairs. Despite these responsibilities, however, he was able to complete his education and become a surgeon.
+ Giacomo felt called to religious life and, for a time, he considered becoming a Capuchin Franciscan. His spiritual director, however, recommended that he consider the diocesan priesthood. Following this call, he was ordained a priest in 1860.
+ Father Giacomo had a special love for the poor and for penance and established two religious communities help provide for the needs of the poor.
+ Blessed Giacomo Cusmano died on March 14, 1880, and was beatified in 1983.
For prayer and reflection
“A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”—John 10:11
We humbly ask you, almighty God,
that at the intercession of blessed Giacomo
you may multiply your gifts among us
and order our days in peace.
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—For One Pastor)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.