Francesco Spinelli

Francesco Spinelli
Born (1853-04-14)14 April 1853
Milan, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
Died 6 February 1913(1913-02-06) (aged 59)
Rivolta d'Adda, Cremona, Kingdom of Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 21 June 1992, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Feast 6 February
Attributes Cassock
Patronage Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament

Blessed Francesco Spinelli (14 April 1853 - 6 February 1913) was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament.[1] Spinelli became close contemporaries of Saint Geltrude Comensoli and Blessed Luigi Maria Palazzolo and had a previous collaboration with Comensoli in which the two established an institute in Bergamo before a rift between members.[2]

He received beatification from Pope John Paul II on 21 June 1992.


Francesco Spinelli was born in Milan on 14 April 1853. He was baptized on the following 15 April.[3] He - with his parents and siblings - moved from Milan to Cremona when he was still a child and would spend his summers at Vergo where in 1871 he was cured of a severe spinal problem.[3]

His call to the religious life was fostered due to the support of his mother and his priest uncle Pietro Cagliaroli. His friend Blessed Luigi Maria Palazzolo also encouraged him towards the path of the priesthood.[3] He was ordained to the priesthood in Bergamo on 14 August 1875 and not long after travelled to Rome to take part in the Jubilee that Pope Pius IX convoked. He also went to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore where he spent brief moments in reflection at the crib of the Infant Jesus. This provided him with the inspiration he needed to found a religious congregation of his own.[2] His return from Rome saw him hold educational activities at an evening school at a place his friend Palazzolo established and also assisted his priest uncle with his parish activities.[4]

On 15 December 1882 he founded a religious congregation in Bergamo with Saint Geltrude Comensoli that would devote itself to the Eucharist and to Eucharistic Adoration; the first convent opened on Via San Antonino. Spinelli was forced to leave it on 4 March 1889 after it failed due to a range of calamities.[1] He arrived in Rivolta d'Adda in Cremona penniless and pained due to what happened back in Bergamo.[2] In 1892 he founded the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament that later received the diocesan approval of the Bishop of Cremona Geremia Bonomelli in 1897.

Spinelli died in 1913. The decree of praise of his order was issued on 11 December 1926 and received the full approval of Pope Pius XI on 27 February 1932.


The congregation he founded now operates in nations such as Argentina and Senegal and as of 2005 has up to 436 religious in a total of 59 houses.[2]

On 30 August 1958 the Cardinal Patriarch of Venice Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli - the future Pope John XXIII - visited Spinelli's tomb and wrote in his journal: "Going from Lodi and arrived in Rivolta d'Adda where I admired the general house of the Sisters Adorers founded by Venerable Francesco Spinelli at whose tomb I was glad to pray".[1]


The beatification process commenced in the Diocese of Cremona in an informative process that had been tasked in documenting his life and the manner in which his life adhered to the cardinal virtues and the theological virtues. Theologians also voiced approval for his writings which were found to be in line with the tradition of the faith. These processes occurred despite the fact that the formal introduction of the cause did not come until 25 January 1952 under Pope Pius XII in which he was accorded the title of Servant of God as the first official stage in the process. An apostolic process was later held at which point the Congregation of Rites validated both processes.

The Positio was received in Rome in 1998 which enabled the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to start their own investigation into the cause and the contents of the dossier. Pope John Paul II declared him to be Venerable on 3 March 1990 after recognizing his heroic virtue and approved a miracle attributed to him on 2 June 1992. The pontiff beatified Spinelli on 21 June 1992.

The current postulator assigned to the cause is Giovangiuseppe Califano.


  1. 1 2 3 "Bl. Francesco Spinelli". Catholic Online. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Father Francesco Spinelli's Life" (PDF). Suore Adoratrici. March 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "Spinelli, Francesco, Bl.". 2003. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  4. "Blessed Francesco Spinelli". Santi e Beati. Retrieved 8 June 2016.

External links

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