Fr Giuseppe Giannini, a Xaverian apostle of the Gospel in China

Fr Giuseppe Giannini
Photo: saveriani.it

Remembering the name of Father Giuseppe Giannini is opening the cupboard of memory to draw from it the memory of a past time, but full of love for Christ and missionary spirituality: this was the life of this Xaverian religious.

Expiring at the age of just 44, after more than half a century, his testimony enlightens and remains alive in the hearts of God’s people.

A Xaverian missionary he was among the first to enter the recently born institute, letting himself be shaped by the words of San Guido Maria Conforti, founder and bishop of Parma.

Giuseppe Giannini was born on May 5, 1904 in Valle di Sant’Anastasio di Sassio Feltrio, in Romagna.

From an early age he felt the attraction for priestly life, studying at the regional seminary of Fano. After finishing high school, he asks to enter the Xaverian institute: very young he feels the call to missionary life. Novice and student of theology, he was professed on November 1, 1927.

Ordained a priest by the hands of Bishop Conforti himself, on November 4, 1931, his first request was to be sent to the East.

Presbyter, with his confreres Father Botton and Azzolini, he is a serene man of strong prayer. Many Xaverians who, in those years, adhered to the missionary life full of dangers, but rich in faith in the One who can do everything.

In 1932, with other confreres, he was in China, where he devoted himself to a busy apostolate devoted to responding to people in need.

Fifteen years living in the diocese of Cheng-chow, the priest does not give up in the face of any difficulty.

Those who live with Father Giannini will always remember his zeal and great love for souls. Life is not the simplest, but the priest animated by a great willpower goes on remembering the words of the holy founder, to bring the gospel everywhere trusting in that Providence that does not disappoint.

After years of mission he was forced to return to Italy due to the delicate health problems that undermined his activity. He died on June 8, 1948, leaving the memory of the much good done in that earth and in heaven, in which he awaits the many souls brought to Christ.

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