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Everyones parish priest

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Everyones parish priest

Don Giacomo Abbondo was a true parish priest, father figure, pastor and
preacher of the Gospel, who cared for his faithful to the point of heroically
practicing charity. This priest from Tronzano Vercellese was beatified by
Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of
Saints, who was representing Pope Francis, on Saturday, 11 June, in Vercelli.

Abbondo was born
in Salomino, a village of Tronzano Vercellese, on 27 August, 1720. Complying
with the will of his bishop, he gave up his prestigious teaching assignment in
a state school and accepted his position as pastor of Tronzano, where he
remained until his death on 9 February, 1788. He inherited a difficult
situation after the death of the theologian Naya, who was a sympathizer of
Jansenism and sacramental rigorism. From the very beginning, in 1757, Don
Abbondo pledged himself as a minister of the Word, an attentive devotee of
sacramental life and generous dispenser of charity in the parish. In 1759 he
united together Christian Doctrine and the Rosary, committing almost all of the
parents to teaching catechism and praying together as a family. Christian
Doctrine was explained on every holy day of obligation in the afternoon. He
preached catecheses every day during Lent: in the morning in the capital, and
in the afternoon on the farms. During the month of January, after celebrating
Mass, Don rode on horseback, wrapped in a great cloak, and went to the farms to
teach catechism to the children who had the task of watching over the cows. He
used the texts of Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine, from Fr. Boriglioni and Msgr
Casati.

He loved each and every one of his parishioners, and had a special fondness
for the poor and the sick. Together with a doctor, he pointed out those who
needed special support from the Congregation of Charity. He guaranteed them
free distribution of bread, milk, vegetables, and firewood for heat. The people
proved to appreciate his concern with the establishment of legacies and
bequests. The most generous families took care of orphans. The parish house was
known for housing travelling priests from the neighboring Diocese of Casale
Monferrato and Ivrea. 

Mario Capellino

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