Founder of the Servants of Suffering Secular Institute is Fr. Pierino Galeone.
Born in San Giorgio Jonico (TA) on January 21, 1927, to Ciro and Grazia Perrucci, parents of proven Catholic faith and assiduous religious practice, he was baptized in the Parish of S. Maria del Popolo on April 24 of the same year. At the age of five he approached First Communion, and on June 11, 1933, he received Confirmation.
The serene family atmosphere and sincere Christian upbringing, nourished by good works and prayer, quickly fostered an awareness of his priestly vocation. At the age of ten he entered the Minor Archiepiscopal Seminary of Taranto and at fifteen moved on to the Regional Seminary of Molfetta. During this period tuberculosis seriously compromised his presence in the seminary and unexpectedly altered his biographical story.
In this difficult situation, in fact, he decided to go in July 1947 to San Giovanni Rotondo to obtain healing from the stigmatized friar. The intervention of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina proved decisive. Young Pierino suddenly recovered his health, comforted by the saint's promise to become a priest.
On July 2, 1950, he was ordained a priest in the Parish of Mary Most Holy Immaculate, in San Giorgio Jonico. In 1952 he began his pastoral ministry in the Parish of Santa Maria del Popolo in San Giorgio Jonico, first as assistant parish priest, then as vicar bursar and, then, from October 9, 1955, as parish priest.
His apostolic activity was always directed toward the special care of the souls entrusted to him, especially the young, through spiritual direction, attention to priestly vocations, assistance to lay organizations, and charity toward the sick and the poor.
The origins of the Servants of Suffering Institute should be placed in this apostolic context. Several factors contributed to the maturation of the project of founding a new spiritual family: the ministry of preaching and spiritual direction to young people open to the Lord's call, the profound attraction to the spirituality of Padre Pio, the numerous youth vocations, a sign of the Lord's benevolence.
Prominent among these elements was his personal inspiration to do such work.
Fr. Pierino's spirituality is similar to that of his teacher, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
Prayer constantly punctuates his days. Great is his devotion to Our Lady, humble and indefatigable, he brings to all the gift of her efficacious word, to communicate the whole Christ. His apostolic ardor drives him to proclaim the richness and effectiveness of the Charism of the Servants of Suffering even in distant nations.
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