St. Arcangelo Tadini - Italy

Founder of the Congregation of Worker Sisters of the Holy House of Nazareth

St. Arcangelo Tadini was born on 12 October 1846 in Verolanuova (Brescia), Italy. At the age of 18 he entered the seminary in Brescia, but had an accident that left him with a limp for the rest of his life. He was ordained in 1870, but illness forced him to spend his first year as a priest with his family.

From 1871 to 1873 he was a curate in Lodrino, a mountain village, and then at the Shrine of Santa Maria della Noce near Brescia.

He was known for his attentiveness to his people's needs. After flooding left many parishioners homeless, he organized a soup-kitchen in the parish house that served 300 meals a day. In 1885 he was transferred to Botticino Sera as curate and two years later was appointed parish priest and dean of the same parish, where he spent the remaining 25 years of his life.

A zealous pastor of souls, he provided catechesis for every age group, started a choir, organized various confraternities, remodeled the church and cared for the liturgy. When he preached, people were amazed at the warmth and power that his words instilled.

With the spread of the industrial revolution, he founded the Workers' Mutual Aid Association, to help labourers suffering from illness, accidents, disabilities or old age. He used his own inheritance to plan and build a spinning factory, outfitting it with the latest equipment and later building a residence next to it for working women. To educate young working women, he founded the Congregation of Worker Sisters of the Holy House of Nazareth who went into the factories to work alongside the other women, sharing their toil and tensions, while teaching them by their example. To the sister and the young working women Fr Tadini held up the example of Jesus, who not only sacrifice himself on the Cross, but spent the first 30 years of his life in Nazareth where he was not ashamed to use a carpenter's tools or to have calloused hands and a brow bathed in sweat.

He taught his parishioners that work is not curse, but the way men and women are called to fulfil themselves as human beings and as Christians His strength came from prayer: his parishioner used to see him stand for hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, despite his disability, absorbed in the contemplation of God. Fr Arcangelo Tadini died on 20 May 1912.   He was beatified on 24 October 2001 and canonized on 19 April 2009

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