Blessed Gregory Barbarigo
Blessed Gregory was born in 1625. He was raised and educated in his native city of Venice, Italy. While still in his twenties, he was chosen by the officials of Venice to represent them in Munster, Germany, at an important event. Leaders were meeting to sign the Treaty of Westphalia on October 24, 1648. This treaty would bring to an end the Thirty Year War. This war, begun in 1618, was fought in Germany. It involved local, Swedish and French troops and was basically caused by Catholic-Protestant misunderstanding.
At Munster, Blessed Gregory met the pope's representative. This man was to become Pope Alexander VII in 1655. He realized the goodness and spiritual qualities of Father Gregory. He made him a bishop and assigned him to the diocese of Bergamo, Italy. In 1660, the pope called him to Rome again. This time he made Blessed Gregory a cardinal and assigned him to Padua.
Blessed Gregory was to spend the rest of his life in that city already made famous by St. Anthony. People often said that Cardinal Barbarigo was like a second Cardinal Borromeo. We celebrate the feast of St. Charles Borromeo on November 4. Cardinal Barbarigo lived a plain, self-sacrificing life. He gave large sums of money for charitable needs. He kept his door open and was always available when people were in trouble. He started an excellent college and seminary for the training of men to be priests. He gave the seminary a first-rate library with many books by the early Church fathers and books about Sacred Scripture. He even equipped the seminary with a printing press.
Blessed Gregory Barbarigo died on June 15, 1697, at the age of seventy-two. He was proclaimed "blessed" in 1761 by Pope Clement XIII.
How do I welcome people who come to me for help? I can ask the Lord that I may become a generous, loving person so that I can bring many people closer to him.