Filippo Rinaldi

Rector Major of the Salesians
Philip Rinaldi
3rd Successor of Don Bosco
In office
Succeeded by Pietro Ricaldone
Personal details
Born 28 May 1856
Lu, Piedmont, Italy
Died 2 July 1931(1931-07-02) (aged 75)
Profession Priest
Religion Roman Catholic

Philip Rinaldi (in Italian Filippo Rinaldi, born in Lu, Piedmont, Italy on 28 May 1856 – died in Rome, 29 April 1931) was a Catholic Roman Priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco, who was the 3rd Rector Major of that Order between 1922 and 1931. He founded the Salesian Institute Volunteers of Don Bosco. He was declared by Pope John Paul II as a Blessed on 29 April 1990.


Rinaldi was the 8th child of Cristobolo and Antonia, a farmer family from Lu (Alessandria). He knew Don Bosco since he was five years old. Two brothers of Philip would become priests also. He was sent to the Salesian Minor Seminar of Mirabello Monferrato where the assistance was Paul Albera, but Rinaldi returned to Lu, although Don Bosco tried to convince the boy to reconsider his decision. He continued his life as a farmer, but received some letters from Don Bosco and some books from Albera about religious vocation.

In 1874 the Rinaldi family got the visit of Don Bosco, when Philip was already 18 years old, but the young man was persistent in his decision not to continue studies. The insistence of Don Bosco did that his family began to joint the campaign to make the youth to return to the school, especially from his mother and even some persons from town.

In 1876, aged 20, Rinaldi was preparing to marry. Don Bosco did a last visit to the young man to convince him that he should consider the religious vocation instead. Finally, in 1877, Rinaldi agreed to joint the Salesian house of Sampierdarena, in an experience that Don Bosco called "for late vocations", since he was already 21. Fortunately, the director was his friend Paul Albera, already a priest. It was not easy for Rinaldi to take on books, but he learned and joined the Salesian Novitiate in San Benito Canaves in 1879. He became religious on 13 August 1880. On 23 December 1882, Rinaldi is ordained priest in Ivrea. Don Bosco elected him director of the house for late vocations in Mathi. In 1889 Rinaldi is sent to Spain as Superior where he was going to work for 12 years.

Rector Major

In 1901 Rinaldi returned to Turin as General Administrator during the government of Don Rua, who was succeeded by Paul Albera. After the death of Albera, the General Chapter of 1921 elected Rinaldi as the third successor of Don Bosco.

It was a difficult time after World War I. In 1925 he did visits throughout Europe, especially to Poland, Hungry, Germany, France and Spain. In 1922 he founded the Salesian Institute of Missions in Ivrea, sending young Salesians to countries like Brazil, India, Japan and Thailand.[1]


  1. J. Puthenkalam y A. Mampra (2002). Sanctity in the Salesian Family. Salesian Institute of Graphic Arts – Chennai, India.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Paul Albera
Rector Major of the Salesians
Succeeded by
Pietro Ricaldone
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