Venerable Pio Alberto Del Corona, OP (1837-1912)

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Pio Alberto Del Corona
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In recognition of his heroic virtues, the Holy Father, Pope Francis has declared as Venerable the Dominican Bishop, Pio Alberto Del Corona. He is the founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

Pio Alberto Del Corona was born at Livorno on the 5th of July, 1837. His parents, Giuseppe and Ester Bucalossi were humble footwear retailers. He was their fourth and last child.

At the age of 17, Alberto pleaded with his father to join the religious life. He joined the Dominicans at the Convent of San Marco, Florence in 1854 and received his habit the following year. He made his religious profession of vows in 1859 and was ordained to the priesthood at the Basilica of San Marco, Florence on the 5th of February, 1860.

On the 8th of May, 1872, he was received in audience by Pope Pius IX together with Pia Elena Bruzzi Bonaguidi. At that audience, the Holy Father gave him the Apostolic Blessing and his personal imprimatur to found the “Asylum” of Bolognese and the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Few months after that, he was elected the Prior of the Convent of San Marco.

On the 3rd of January, 1875, he was consecrated a bishop at the Church of St Apollinaris, Rome and appointed Coadjutor Bishop of San Miniato. Few days later, he arrived at San Miniato and remained there for 32 years. At the death of the substantive bishop, he became the 18th Bishop of San Miniato. In 1906, due to his serious ill health, he submitted his resignation to Pope Pius X but was turned down. Rather, the Holy Father appointed the Archbishop of Pisa Maffi as the administrator of the diocese. The following year, the Archbishop of Pisa Maffi was appointed the Bishop of San Miniato while Bishop Del Corona was made the Titular Archbishop of Sardica.

While still suffering from the ill health, he received a hand written letter of encouragement from Pope Pius X. On the 10th of August 1912, he received the anointing of the sick and five days later, on the 15th of August 1912, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, he passed on. He was 75years, one month and nine days old

He was buried in the Cemetery of Misericordia in Florence and his tomb instantly became a place of pilgrimage for the faithful. On the 12th of October 1925, his body was moved to the crypt of the Monastery of his spiritual daughters at Via Bolognese, Florence.  In 1942, the Diocese of San Miniato initiated the process for his canonization. The process is ongoing at the Congregation for the Causes of Saint at the Holy See.

In February 2001, in the presence of Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, 4 bishops, 15 priests and other dignitaries, his remains was canonically recognized.

 

 

Having already identified a miracle attributed to him, his spiritual daughters are hopeful that his beatification is imminent. The sisters have been in the forefront in the promulgation of his heroic life, virtues and teachings through various programmes and events. They have been doing these with the invaluable assistance of fr Antonio Cocolicchio, OP.

The desire of the sisters is to revive the devotion to this venerable servant of God both in the Order and in the Church at large, to seek for his intercession especially for the promotion of vocations to the religious life especially for y0ung women. The sisters welcome individual and group visits and pilgrimages to his crypt inside their monastery and writings on his life and teachings especially in regards to the study of sacred scriptures.

(15 November 2013)