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April 1

St Lodovico Pavoni - April 1

Saint Lodovico Pavoni

Priest, Founder

(1784 – 1849)

Rigorism keeps Heaven empty.

Saint Lodovico Pavoni

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Years

Lodovico was born in Brescia, Italy on September 11, 1794, as the first of five brothers to his father, Alessandro, and his mother, Lelia. Lodovico was a lively and bright child, interested in the world around him and quick to grasp the social problems of his day. He prepared for the priesthood by receiving his theological formation at the home of the Dominican, Father Carlo Domenico Ferrari, future Bishop of Brescia.   

Ordained in Brescia

In Brescia, in 1807, Lodovico was ordained a priest and first launched the oratory. In 1812, when appointed secretary to Bishop Gabrio Nava, he received permission to continue with his “oratory”.   

Started Publishing Trade School

In 1818, Lodovico was named rector of the Church of St Barnabas with permission to found an orphanage and a vocational school that, in 1821, became the “Institute of St Barnabas.”  He decided that the first trade of this school would be in the field of book publishing. So, in 1823, Lodovico set up “The Publishing House of Saint Barnabas” – the precursor to the present Ancora press.

Opened Center for Males

Lodovico opened a center for males and expanded it into a hostel in 1821 for their shelter and to include a school to teach them a particular trade. The males could also choose to be carpenters, silversmiths, blacksmiths, shoemakers, experts in tool and dye making.   In 1823, Lodovico welcomed the first deaf mutes to the school.  Around this time, Lodovico also purchased a farm to set up an Agricultural School.

Founded Sons of Mary Immaculate

In 1825, Lodovico founded his own congregation of priests and brothers, known as the Sons of Mary Immaculate, commonly referred to as the “Pavonians”. Pope Gregory XVI granted his official assent to the congregation being in Brescia on March 31, 1843, after having received approval from officials in the Roman Curia. The Emperor of Austria provided imperial assent on December 9, 1846. On December 8, 1847, Lodovico and the first members of the congregation made their religious profession following diocesan approval.

His Heroic Act of Charity

In 1849, Lodovico did his best to assist citizens who were in the middle of a cholera epidemic around the time of the Ten-Days conflict between Austria and Brescia. Austrians prepared to pillage Brescia. So, on March 24, 1849, during the Ten-Days conflict, Pavoni performed his last heroic act of charity when he led his boys and men to safety to the novitiate on the hill of Saiano, 12 kilometers away.

His Death

A week later Lodovico died at the dawn of Palm Sunday, April 1, 1849, as Brescia was in flames and the conflict continued. Lodovico’s ideal of education was a broad one, to dispose a person in his wholeness to be good. Lodovico was a loving man breaking the path for social reform in an industrialized society as well as working to reach people through social communications. He firmly believed that improving social conditions would improve the spiritual life and that improving the spiritual life would improve social conditions. Lodovico was a forerunner of Rerum Novarum issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891. 

The order that Lodovico established went on to receive full papal approval from Pope Leo XIII on September 24, 1882, (and its constitutions in 1897) and went on to inspire fellow priests, such as Giovanni Bosco and Leonardo Murialdo.

His Order Around the World

As of 2008, the order that Lodovico established flourished across the globe and numbers 210 religious members (with 107 of them being priests) in a total of six nations; Brazil, Colombia, Eritrea, Germany, Italy and Spain in 34 houses. They still publish books. In Rome, they run the Ancora bookstore outside St Peter’s Square. 

Beatified:           April 14, 2002 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized:        October 16, 2016 by Pope Francis

Feast Day:         April 1

Patron Saint:    Sons of Mary Immaculate, Trade Schools



Lodovico Pavoni realized that the reasons for young men falling into bad habits sprung from leaving inadequate schools, peer pressure, and the bad influence of some adults at their workplaces. He countered the evils of his times — the worldly allurements, the temptations of the Devil, and the internal weakness of man — with understanding, patience, and redirection of youthful energies to more productive activities through his vocational trade schools. While you may not be able to start vocational training for young adults, there are many other opportunities such as mentoring, being a Big Brother/Big Sister or tutoring or being a CCD teacher at your chutch. Any of these activities could help our youth through positive reinforcement and an example.

What small deeds can you do to help the educational and spiritual growth of our youth?


Dear St. Lodovico Pavoni, throughout the history of the Church, the youth have been so vulnerable to temptation and so easily led away from God. Help us to see the work that God wants us to do in saving these souls, in bringing them into and back to the True Church. Amen.

Saint Lodovico Pavoni, pray for us. Amen.

Source: Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lodovico Pavoni | The Wanderer Newspaper (

We are addressing you, oh Father, source of life and joy,
and through the intercession of Saint Lodovico Pavoni with confidence we ask for this grace…
(mention the grace you are praying for)
May your Almighty love fulfill our prayer and make us more like your faithful servant, who gave joy and hope
to the young and the poor. May our dearest Mother Mary present You this supplication;
she obtained the first miracle in Cana through Jesus, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Saint Lodovico Pavoni, pray for us. Amen. 

Source: Pavoni in 7 lingue – Preghiera (

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Pope Francis to Canonize Five New Saints

All Saints & Martyrs – Blessed Lodovico Pavoni

Anastpaul – Saint of the Day – 1 April – Saint Lodovico Pavoni FMI (1784-1849) – Saint Ludovico Pavoni

The Wanderer – Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lodovico Pavoni

Vatican – Lodovico Pavoni (1784 – 1849)

Wikipedia – Lodovico Pavoni

Video Link

Lodovico Pavoni, The Saint of Young Workers – YouTube (RomeReports)

Prayer to Saint Lodovico Pavoni – YouTube (JM Dolom)