Life as a priest

After his ordination, the young Fr. Joseph was appointed as secretary of Bishop Carlo Savio. He held this office for 13 years.

By Bishop Savio’s side, Fr. Joseph lived new and important experiences. From him he learned an inexhaustible source of strength to give of himself, serenity to face all kinds of problems and difficulties, and knowledge of how to treat everyone well, especially those who suffer. Under that paternal eye, Fr. Joseph not only accomplished his duties with dedication and ability, but he also learned to transform them into a new and fruitful apostolate.

His greatest experience was his participation along with his Bishop in the First Vatican Council. Fr. Joseph had always wanted to visit the Eternal City, cradle of the Church and dwelling place of the Pope; and his love for the Pope was well known to everyone. They left for Rome on November 21, 1869, and on December 8, in the presence of 700 Bishops from all over the world, they were both present at the solemn ceremony with which Pius IX officially opened the Council.