Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Image of Bl. Marcantonio Durando

Facts

Feastday: December 10

Birth: 1801

Death: 1880

Beatified By: Pope John Paul II


Marcantonio was born in Mondově, on 22 May 1801, of the distinguished Durando family, whose house overlooked the Main Square, near the Cathedral and the Church of the Mission. In contrast to his mother, a very pious person, who instilled religiosity and faith in the heart of her eight children, his father had liberal ideas and was of lay and agnostic tendencies. In particular, two sons absorbed his convictions, becoming involved in the events of the Italian Revival (Risorgimento). They occupied high positions in political and military life. Giacomo was Foreign Affairs Minister in the Rattazzi government of 1862. In 1848, Giovanni, a general and head of the pontifical troops, disobeyed the orders of Pius IX by taking the papal troops beyond the Po River in order to bar the Austrians' way. Having reentered the army of Piedmont, he participated together with Carlo Alberto in the Battle of Novara, the expedition in Crimea and the war of independence.

The Missionary Passion

Marcantonio took more after his mother. At the age of 15 he manifested a desire to go to China as a missionary. He entered the Congregation of the Mission, which was being rebuilt in Italy at that time. At the age of 18, he made his perpetual vows and on 12 June 1824 was ordained a priest. He remained in Casale Monferrato for five years then, from 1829 until his death, in the house of Turin, of which he became superior two years after his arrival. Instead of China, his destination was the popular missions, into which he infused the missionary passion of announcing Christ. He supported and diffused the newly-born work of the Propagation of the Faith, instituted in Lyon in 1822; and in the height of his responsibility as Visitor, in 1855, he inaugurated the Brignole-Sale School for the foreign missions, with the purpose of forming priests for the missions ad gentes.

In the early years of his priesthood, the missionary tension was absorbed by the missions, which he preached in many towns of Piedmont. Avoiding both the extremes of laxity and the rigorism of Jansenism, Fr. Durando preached the mercy of God, attracting the populations to conversion: "The people—according to a commentator on the mission of Bra—thronged to hear him and were so silent and attentive they listened to him as if they were a single man." During these missions, he did not limit himself to preaching, but wherever he found grave situations of poverty, in agreement with the confreres, he intervened in concrete ways. For example, at Locana, he had "the entire legacy of the mission, consisting of 700 lire, converted into corn flour for the poor of the country," thus putting into effect the teaching of St. Vincent to intervene spiritually and corporally in favor of the poor.

Love for the Poor

Concern for the poor was the other face of his missionary passion. Shortly after he was elected superior, he saw the usefulness of introducing into northern Italy the Daughters of Charity, born of the charitable charism of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. The sisters, after having been dispersed during the French Revolution, had just begun to reorganize. The apparitions of the Miraculous Medal in 1830 to St. Catherine Labouré, a novice among the Daughters of Charity, can be considered the origin of the new flowering which the community was experiencing. It was Fr. Durando's astuteness to recognize this. He wanted them in Piedmont. King Carlo Alberto welcomed them in 1833 and they began by taking responsibility for various hospitals, both the military ones in Turin and Genoa, and the civil ones in Carignano, Castellamonte and Turin. In 1855, he had the courage to send them to the front during the Crimean War in order to help the wounded. At the same time, he spread the Marian Association of the Miraculous Medal among the youth, and from that came new vocations: in a short period of ten years 20 foundations were established and 260 sisters joined the community. The number of vocations was overflowing to such an extent that in 1837 Carlo Alberto placed at their disposal the convent of St. Salvario in Turin. With the increase of sisters, Fr. Durando provided the city of Turin with a network of charity centers, called Misericordie, from which the sisters with the Ladies of Charity set off to serve the poor in their homes and to help them in other ways. Around the Misericordie various works were formed, like the first nursery schools for poor children, workplaces for young girls, orphanages. Because of their works of assistance among the sick and the poor, together with taking on various educational works, the Daughters of Charity were precious collaborators in the development of social Catholicism in Italy.

Man of administration and Director of Conscience

In 1837, at only 36 years of age, he was appointed Visitor (or major superior) of the Province of North Italy of the Vincentian Fathers, a position which he occupied for 43 uninterrupted years, until his death. Consequently, he had to reduce his participation in the missions. His time was absorbed in organizing the Congregation of the Vincentian missionaries and preaching spiritual retreats to priests and clerics of the Turin Diocese. The quality of his spiritual direction attracted the attention even of new foundations, which were being established in Turin. The Archbishop, Msgr. Fransoni, entrusted to him the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who had just arrived in Italy. He contributed to the writing of the rules of the Sisters of St. Ann. He became the spiritual guide of the Poor Clares in the new St. Claire monastery. The Marchioness of Barolo, who had founded a monastery for the recovery of lost girls, the Repentant Sisters of St. Magdalene, wanted him as adviser for the constitution of the rules and director of the work. But the work that distinguished him was the foundation of the Nazarene Sisters.

At the School of Jesus Crucified, Founder of the Nazarene Sisters

As happens with works of God, without having willed it, on 21 November 1865, the Feast of the Presentation of Mary, Fr. Durando was able to entrust to the Servant of God, Luigia Borgiotti, the first postulants of the new Company of the Passion of Jesus the Nazorean. They were young girls who turned to him because, although desiring to consecrate themselves to God, they were lacking some of the canonical requisites for entering religious communities. He gave them the task of serving the sick as suffering members of Christ crucified, going to assist them in their homes, day and night. The work was innovative and original, so much so that a canon of the cathedral exclaimed: "If Fr. Durando were to come to confess to me, I could not in conscience absolve him." And yet, thanks to the charity of those sisters, who knew how to accompany the dying with gentleness, discretion and faith, because they contemplated in those suffering, the suffering of the Lord, various excellent conversions occurred, such as those of Guido Gozzano, Felice Raccagni, Sofia Graf, Annie Vivanti.

Death and Glorification

Father Durando died on 10 December 1880; he was 79 years old. His mortal remains were buried, significantly, in that little sanctuary of the Passion, annexed to the Church of the Visitation in Turin, where the community of Nazarene Sisters was nourished on devotion to the passion of the Lord in order to place itself, in a missionary spirit, at the service of the suffering.

The cause of beatification, which began in Turin in 1928 and continued in Rome with the apostolic process in 1940, concluded in 2001 with the recognition of the miracle obtained through his intercession.

Biography Provided By: The Vatican


Bl. Marcantonio Durando Comments




More Saints





Browse Saints by Category


Popular Saints

Rank

Saint

34.

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12 (USA) When we reflect on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we learn two important lessons, one of faith and one of understanding. Missionaries who first ... continue reading | shop

35.

Image of St. Raphael

St. Raphael

St. Raphael is one of seven Archangels who stand before the throne of the Lord. He was sent by God to help Tobit, Tobiah and Sarah. At the time, Tobit was blind and Tobiah's betrothed, ... continue reading | shop

36.

Image of St. Rita

St. Rita

St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and ... continue reading | shop

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions

Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions

Feastday: September 20 The evangelization of Korea began during the 17th century through a group of lay persons. A strong vital Christian community flourished there under lay leadership until ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day
September 2014
S M T W T F S
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Agnes

St. Agnes

St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very ... continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading


Image of St. Gabriel, the Archangel

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Nicholas of Tolentino

St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Born in 1245 in Sant'Angelo, St. Nicholas of Tolentino took his name from St. Nicholas of Myra, at whose shrine his parents prayed to have a child. Nicholas became a monk at 18, and seven years ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy senator, who later renounced the world and became one of the seven deacons of Rome. After he had acquired the usual ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of The blessed Cyprian suffered martyrdom on 14 September, under the emperors Valerian and Gallienus, but in the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honor and glory for ever. Amen.

Pope Cornelius and Bishop Cyprian are Examples for this Age of Martyrs

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
35 Someone may ask: How are dead people raised, and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 56:10-12, 13-14
10 In God whose word I praise, in Yahweh whose word I ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:4-15
4 With a large crowd gathering and people from every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 20th, 2014 Image

Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions
September 20: Feastday: September 20 The evangelization of Korea began ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter