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June 4

St Filippo Smaldone - June 4

Saint Filippo Smaldone
Priest, Founder
(1848 – 1923)

“The Lord sends us trials and tribulations to settle our debt to Him.”

Saint Filippo Smaldone

His Early Years

Filippo was born on July 27, 1848 in Naples, Italy. He was the first of seven children born to Antonio Smaldone and Maria Concetta De Luca. Filippo made his First Communion in 1858 and received his Confirmation in 1862.

An Ordained Priest Who Helped the Deaf

Notwithstanding the social, political and religious turmoil that surrounded him, Filippo decided to dedicate himself to the service of the Church and become a priest. While he was still a philosophy and theology student, he became involved in helping the many marginalized people and deaf-mutes in Naples, who at the time were without appropriate forms of assistance.

His dedication to the apostolate did not leave him much time to study. So, it was with difficulty that Filippo passed the examination for Minor Orders. He was made a subdeacon on July 31, 1870 and ordained a deacon on March 27, 1871. Then, on September 23, 1871, Filippo was ordained to the priesthood.

Sick and Depressed

In 1884, while working with plague victims, Filippo contracted the cholera himself. Miraculously, he was cured through the intervention of Our Lady of Pompei. At one point, depressed over the frustration of his mute students, Filippo asked to give up his teaching and to work in the foreign missions. His spiritual advisor convinced him to stay, and Filippo threw himself into the work.

Founder of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts

In March 1885, with the help of Father Lorenzo Apicelia and several nuns he had trained, Filippo founded a school for deaf–mutes in Lecce, Italy. This instituition became the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts. Soon, due to the great need, Filippo expanded the work of his schools to include blind, orphaned, or abandoned children. In 1897, he opened several other branches of his order in both Rome and Bari, Italy. Filoppo served as confessor and spiritual director to priests, seminarians, and several religious communities.

Filippo founded both the Eucharistic League of Priest Adorers and the Eucharistic League of Women Adorers to promote the Eucharist. For a brief period of time, he also served as the superior of the Missionaries of Saint Francis de Sales. Filippo was appointed a canon of Lecce Cathedral by the religious authorities. In addition, he was awarded a commendation by the civic authorities.

His Death

On June 4, 1923, Filippo died from diabetes-related complications combined with heart difficulties in Lecce, Italy. He was buried in a tomb in the church of the monastery of Saint Augustine’s Church.

In 1942, his remains were later relocated to the order’s motherhouse. In 2005, there were a total of 40 houses with 398 religious in nations such as Rwanda and Moldova.

Born :                   July 28, 1848 in Naples, Italy

Died:                    June 4, 1923 age 74 in Lecce, Italy

Beatified:            May 12, 1996 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized:         October 15, 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI

Feast Day:          June 4

Patron Saint:     Deaf People; Mute People; Salesion Sisters of the Sacred Hearts



Saint Filippo Smaldone demonstrated that holiness is attainable in the midst of everyday life. Through his dedication to his pastoral duties, educational mission, and his work with the deaf and mute, he teaches us that sanctity is not confined to extraordinary feats, Instead, holiness can be achieved through love and service in our daily interactions with those in need.

How can you attain holiness today? What holy acts can you conduct today in your daily interaction with others?


Saint Filippo Smaldone,

You who devoted your life to the education and care of the deaf and mute, guide us in our efforts to bring compassion through our service to all the needy in our midst.

Inspire in us a love for the marginalized, that we may recognize their dignity and respond to their needs with generosity and kindness.

As the founder of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, intercede for all educators and caregivers, that they may emulate your dedication.

Help us to persevere with unwavering faith in the face of challenges and grant us the wisdom to see the needs of the world and respond with love.

Saint Filippo Smaldone, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

All Saints & Martyrs – Saint Filippo Smaldone – Priest

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 4 June – St Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923)

Catholic Online – St. Filippo Smaldone

McNamara’s Blog – St. Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923)

Pratical Prayers – Prayer to St. Filippo Smaldone (Deaf/Ear Ailments)

Vatican – Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI – Eucharistic Concelebration for the Canonization of Four New Saints

Video Link

Saint of the Day – Saint Filippo Smaldone : June 4 – YouTube (Deus amat te)