Don Giulio Facibeni

Giulio Facibeni

was born in 1884 in Galeata (province of ForlÏ). He entered the Seminar in Faenza and thereafter those of Fathers Scolopi in Florence. He became priest in 1907 and in 1913 entered the parish of Santo Stefano in Pane in the industrial northern zone of Florence as curate.

During the World War he was spiritual assistant at the front and was decorated with the Silver Medal in the campaign of Monte Grappa since “… he never left the front of combats under enemy’s fire to assist the wounded soldiers and to retrieve the corpses of the deads”

It is to keep the promises he gave to dying soldiers that he decided to found the “Opera della Madonnina del Grappa” (1924) to take care of the many orphans that the war had created. It never counted on strong economic structure, but

it was essentially supported by the prayers, offers and voluntary work of many humble people. Don Facibeni wanted that it could be in some sense the proof of existence of the divine providenceThe Opera helped milliers of orphans and childred in difficulty (up to 1200 present at the same time), giving them education and professional formation. Its motto was Caritas Christi urget nos (the love of Christ pushes us)

The prophetic and paternal figure of don Facibeni (everybody called him simply “the Father”) has been a symbolic important presence in Firenze for decades.

La Pira had always a profound admiration for him, and considered him as the true realization of a sincere and profound Charity, essential corollary of Faith. In 1951 he gave him the honorary citizienship of Florence and was a close friend to him until his death (1958) that was regretted by the whole city.

His beatification process is underway.

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