THE LIFE OF ST. JOSEPH MARELLO
"To take care of the interests of Jesus" was his motto in life, and for this reason he wanted to imitate St Joseph, the spouse of Mary, the custodian of the Redeemer.
Pope John Paul II
In his homily on the occasion
of the Founder's canonization
November 25, 2001
St. Joseph Marello was born in Turin, Italy on December 26, 1844. Entering the seminary of Asti, he was ordained priest in the year 1868. For many years he occupied the position of secretary to the Diocesan Bishop who held him in such esteem that he chose him as his confessor. He was also canon and diocesan chancellor. At the same time, he devoted himself to the pastoral ministry with fervor and humility.
Aware of the spiritual needs of the faithful, in 1878, he founded the Congregation of the Oblates of Saint Joseph with the particular intention of looking after the Christian education of the young. In 1888, he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Acqui, a position he held with amiability and firmness, imitating St. Francis de Sales. A true example to his flock, he won the favor of the clergy and the people, who appreciated his pastoral charity and the sanctity of his life.
He died in Savona on May 30, 1895, venerated by his spiritual children. His reputation for sanctity having persisted, a canonization process was begun. On June 12, 1978, Pope Paul VI declared Bishop Joseph Marello “Venerable”.
On April 2, 1993, the healing of Fr. Aldo Falconetti, OSJ from the meningitis syndrome when he was still cleric was declared as a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God. He was beatified in Asti on September 26, 1995.
By a solemn decree on December 18, 2000, the Holy Father declared that the miracle worked by God through the intercession of Blessed Founder has been verified: namely the sudden, complete and enduring recovery of the children Alfredo and Isilia Chávez León, who were both restored to health at the same time from broncho-pulmonitis. During the Eucharistic Celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, on November 25, 2001, Pope John Paul II inscribed St. Joseph Marello in the Church's Album of Saints.
Birth and Baptism of St. Joseph Marello
December 26. The first born son of Vincenzo Marello and Anna Maria Vialle; christened as Joseph Jeffrey Steven Marello. Baptized on the same day in the Parish Church of Corpus Domini.
Death of His Mother
The early demise of his mother made his father move them to San Martino Alfieri. He served diligently at the church. Admired well by the pastor, Msgr. John Torchio.
Pilgrimage to Savona and Entrance to the Seminary
His father took him on a journey to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Savona. Being with the Lady whom he had considered as his second mother, he made a decision that will change his life.
October 31. He entered the seminary of Asti.
A Father's Wish
Joseph’s father wanted to persuade him to leave the seminary and pursue a businessman's course. Ever docile and obedient, he did not wish to resist his father, much less defy him.
Falls seriously ill of typhoid fever. Sees visions of a cassock before him. In a dream, he heard something like a voice telling: “If you go back to the Seminary you will be cured.” He told this to his father who agreed wholeheartedly: “As long as you are cured!”
The Awaited Return
Healed completely, he returned to the Seminary of Asti to realize his aspiration. This was his life and greatest joy. He felt like one who had escaped a great danger: now he wanted to really dedicate himself to his re-found vocation, increase his love for God, and give free rein to his gratitude to his Mother in heaven.
September 19. Priestly Ordination. He celebrated his first Mass in his native town, and the second in the little shrine of Vallone of Antignano near Asti, dedicated to Our Lady of Ransom.
The First Vatican Council
December 8. As secretrary to Msgr. Carlo Savio, bishop of Asti, he accompanied him to Rome for the First Vatican Council.
The Congregation is born!
March 14. He brought together his first community of men, calling them the “Company of Saint Joseph.” George Medico, Peter Biamino, Joseph Rey and Vincent Franco were the names of the first "little brothers" who entered the humble house of St. Joseph. Their first work included the care of the elderly, the handicapped, and the establishment of an orphanage for boys.
Appointment as Chancellor
July 5. Elected as chancellor of the Diocese of Asti. This was the remark of one of his fellow priests: "“His knowledge of canon law was rich, and he maintained intact the rights of the Church; and the multitude of matters that tumbled into his hands were diligently and promptly dispatched.”
The Gem among Bishops
November 23. Named Bishop of Acqui by Pope Leo XIII who later called him a "gem among bishops".
The Final Journey
May 26. Celebrated the Pontifical Mass in honor of St. Philip Neri in Savona.
May 27. Celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Savano where his father brought him and where he decided to enter the seminary. Unknowingly, this was his lass Mass.
May 30. 6:30 PM. He peacefully and trustfully expired of cerebral anemia in the Lord’s embrace. The news reached the little brothers of Asti through a telegram: "Our beloved Bishop is no more," and they could not restrain their tears of grief.
Msgr. Joseph Marello had lived fifty years, five months and five days.
June 12, 1978. Promulgated "Venerable" by Pope Paul VI confirming his holiness and worth to be a saint.
September 26, 1995. Beatified by Pope John Paul II with the acceptance of the miraculous cure of Fr. Aldo Falconetti, OSJ.
November 25, 2001. Canonized by Pope John Paul II with the recognition of the healing of two Peruvian siblings.
Heralded by the Church as "Father of the Poor and Apostle to the Youth".