Spirituality for Today – October 2013 – Volume 18, Issue 3

Saint of the Month
St. Gasper del Bufalo

October 21

An illustration of Saint Gasper del BufaloSaint Gasper del Bufalo

Gaspar del Bufalo was raised in the palace of Prince Altieri as the son of the royal chef. As a child, his severe health problems instilled in him a compassion for the sick and the poor. Later, he regularly shared his faith in the open markets, where the country peasants gathered to sell their wares. After studying at the College of Rome, where he considered becoming a Jesuit, he was ordained a priest at the age of 22. One year later, his faith was sorely tested when Napoleon invaded the Papal States and took Pope Pius VII hostage. The French emperor then demanded that all priests swear allegiance to him, to which Gaspar responded, "I would rather die or suffer evil than to take such an oath. I cannot. I must not. I will not." He was arrested and put in prison.

While incarcerated, Gaspar's compassion for the downtrodden only deepened. More and more, he focused on the Precious Blood of Jesus as the instruments of salvation, clearly feeling God's call to preach the Blood as the means of bringing about peace and reconciliation.

After the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Rome was mired in chaos. The newly-freed Pius VII called on Gaspar to help renew the people's faith. Forming the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Gaspar "proclaimed peace throughout the blood of the Cross." Armed only with crucifixes, priests from the mission preached repentance and forgiveness among bandits and terrorists. Their efforts greatly mitigated the lawlessness that had ruled in the city. By the time Pius VII finally granted the Society official status, Gaspar was already dead – a victim of cholera contracted while ministering to others during an epidemic.

Loving God, You made St. Gaspar del Bufalo a priest
and outstanding apostle of the Precious Blood of Your Son.
Through his intercession, grant that we may experience
the abundant fruits of the price of our redemption.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

We chose this Saint because September 19th is the instillation of the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport.