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November 5

Saint Guido Maria Conforti - November 5

Saint Guido Maria Conforti

Archbishop, Founder of Xaverian Missionaries

(1865 – 1931)

“On the last day, we will not be asked if we accomplished great deeds, or been acclaimed by men, rather we will be asked if we followed His will,
in the state and condition, to which we were called.

Saint Guido Maria Conforti’s The Eighth Circular Letter

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

Guido Maria Conforti was born in Casalora di Ravadese in the diocese and province of Parma, Italy, on March 30, 1865, the eighth of ten children of Rinaldo and Antonia Adorni Conforti. He attended an elementary school run by the De La Salle Brothers from 1872 and each day on his way to the school he would stop by the church of Santa Maria della Pace, his parish church, where he used to have conversations with the crucified Jesus Christ. This was when his vocation became apparent. Guido later recalled: “I looked at Him and He looked at me and seemed to say so many things”.

Entered the Seminary

Despite his father’s resistance, in 1876 Guido entered the seminary.   In those years, the rector was Msgr Andrea Ferrari, future Cardinal and Blessed.   Their relationship became a friendship. He was Guido’s mentor.  Although he was still a student, Guido was appointed vice-rector. He kept the position even after his ordination, demonstrating considerable qualities as an educator.   During the seminary years, Guido began reading a biography of St Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary who proclaimed the message of Christ throughout Asia up to Shangchuan, the gateway to China, where he died in 1552.   The young man was fascinated by the figure of Xavier and felt invited to continue the work that had remained unfinished.


Guido was ordained to the priesthood on September 22, 1888 at Fontanellato (Parma). He then served as a professor at the local seminary. Guido became the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Parma on March 7, 1896.

Congregation of St Francis Xavier for Foreign Missions – Xaverian Missionaries

During his years of study, he sought to approach both the Salesians of St John Bosco and the Jesuits in order to become a missionary, but it was not possible for him because of his precarious health conditions. However, this did not make him give up his missionary ideal and on December 3, 1895 (the feast of St Francis Xavier) Guido inaugurated the Emilian Institute for Foreign Missions, which was officially recognized and received the approval of Pope Leo XIII on December 3, 1898, as the Congregation of St Francis Xavier for Foreign Missions.   In the following March, it was with great joy that Guido handed over the cross to the first two Xaverian missionaries leaving for China – Father Caio Rastelli and Father Odoardo Mainini.

Archbishop of Ravenna

Pope Leo XIII appointed Guido Archbishop of Ravenna in May 1902 following the death of Cardinal Agostino Gaetano Riboldi. Guido was consecrated bishop on June 11, 1902 at the Church of St. Paul. Guido submitted his resignation due to his ill health in October 1904. On November 14, Guido was made both the Coadjutor Bishop of Parma and Titular Archbishop of Stauropolis.

Bishop of Parma

In 1907 Guido became Bishop of Parma, retaining his personal title of Archbishop. He traveled to all parishes via horseback or other means to inspect his diocese. Guido had a particular focus on religious education.

Guido is said to have provided the initiative behind Pope Benedict XV’s encyclical Maximum illud, issued on November 30, 1919. That document is called the Magna Carta of modern Catholic missionary work.

Guido travelled to China in 1928 to visit the Xaverian Missionaries working there. He arrived in Shanghai on 26 October 1928 and met with his contacts to inspect their work.

His Death

Guido returned to Parma and fell ill in October 1931. He died November 5, 1931 in Parma, Italy. Guido was buried in the centre of the apse of the church of the motherhouse of the Xaverian Missionaries in Parma.

Born:                  March 30, 1865 in Casalora di Ravadese, Parma, Italy

Died:                   November 5, 1931 age 66 in Parma, Italy

Beatified:           March 17, 1996 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized:        October 23, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI

Feast Day:         November 5

Patron Saint:    Xaverian Missionary Fathers



Saint Guido Maria Conforti left us three phrases:
1) See God, Seek God and Love God in All
2) Christ in all things
3) The Love of Christ Impels Us

These three phrases are three strands that come together in one braid to form the spirit of this saint that we can use in our daily life.

How can you use these three phrases to guide you spiritually in living out your faith following Jesus Christ in all that you do for your brothers and sisters near and far?


Saint Guido Maria Conforti, you shared the Good News and hope of Jesus Christ through your Xaverian Father Missionaries. Please intercede for us to also help spread the Good News to all those we encounter in each of our towns, cities and neighborhoods in need in body and mind to be conforted by the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Saint Guido Maria Conforti, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Anastpaul – Saint of the Day – 5 November – Saint Guido Maria Conforti (1865-1931)

Catholic Online – St. Guido Maria Confortiz – Saint Guido Maria Conforti

Daily Compass – Saint Guido Maria Conforti

Xaverian Missionaries – The Life of Our Founder

Xaverian Missionaries – The Circular Letters of St. Guido Maria Conforti

Wikipedia – Guido Maria Conforti

Video Link

St Guido Conforti – YouTube Video (XaverianMissionaries)