22 May Beatification Of The Venerable Servant Of God, Francesco Maria Greco Cosenza, Saturday 21 May 2016
Francesco Maria Greco, was born on July 27, 1857 in Acri, in what was then the Diocese of San Marco e Bisignano. Preparing for his father’s profession, pharmacist, while still a student in Naples he felt a call to the priesthood. At that time while visiting the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, still under construction, he asked for the grace of becoming “a learned priest for doing good ministry.” He conquered the resistances of his parents and was ordained a priest in 1881. In Acri he became arch-priest-pastor of the Church of St. Nicholas, from 1888 to his death.
In the light of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, for whom he had a special devotion, he carried out intense and fruitful pastoral work. Having vainly asked for help from various religious institutes for pastoral assistance in the country, he founded the Congregation of the Small Worker Sisters of the Sacred Hearts in 1893, finding a good collaborator in the servant of God sister Maria Teresa De Vincenti (1872-1936).
The new Institute, “essentially founded on love and the practice of the inner life, humility and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ”, the founder said the mission to cooperate in the growth of the God’s Reign was “through care of children in kindergartens, of young girls in laboratories, of the sick in the hospitals.” Always full of priestly concern for others, this blessed man founded the Caritas hospital which he entrusted to his sisters.
He also cooperated to the good performance of his diocese, making himself available to requests from Bishops, who held him in high esteem. He taught dogmatic theology and Sacred Scripture in the Seminary of Bisignano and was its Rector for three years, while at the same time the fulfilling his role as pastor. Surrounded by wide fame of holiness he fell asleep in the Lord on January 13, 1931.
The cause of beatification began in 1960, was given in 1999 to Rev. P. Luca De Rosa, OFM, general Postulator. The servant of God was declared Venerable on April 19, 2004. On January 21, 2016, Pope Francisco authorized the Congregation for the causes of Saints to promulgate the Decree of recognition of a miracle attributed to his intercession.