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Mons. Pierino Galeone

The founder of the Secular Institute Servants of Suffering is Mons. Pierino Galeone. Born in San Giorgio Jonico (TA) on 21st January 1927 (to Ciro and Grazia Perucci, devout catholic parents) he was baptised in the Parish of Holy Mary of the People on April 24th of the same year. At five years of age he made his first Holy Communion and on 11th June 1933 received Confirmation. The serene familial climate and early Christian education (nourished by good works and by prayer) rapidly favoured his becoming aware of his priestly vocation.

When he was ten years old, he entered the archiepiscopal minor seminary of Taranto and at fifteen moved on to the regional Seminary of Molfetta. In this period his presence in the Seminary was seriously compromised by a grave illness and unexpectedly modified the biographical course of his life. In this difficult situation, he decided to go to San Giovanni Rotondo in July 1947, so as to obtain a cure from the stigmatized friar. The intervention of Padre Pio from Pietrelcina proved to be decisive. The young Pierino suddenly recovered his health, comforted by the promise of the Saint that he would become a priest.

On 2nd July 1950 he was ordained a priest (in the Parish Church of the Most Holy Immaculate Maria) in San Giorgio Jonico. In 1952 his pastoral ministry began in the Parish of Holy Mary of the People in S. Giorgio Jonico, first as a curate, then as vicar economist and then, from the 9th October 1955 onwards, as parish priest.

His apostolic activity has always been directed towards the particular care of the souls entrusted to him, above all the youth, through spiritual direction, attention to priestly vocations, assistance to lay organizations, charity towards the sick and the poor. In this apostolic context are to be found the origins of the Institute “Servants of Suffering”.

Various factors contributed to the maturing of the foundational project of a new spiritual family: the ministry of preaching and of spiritual direction to young people who were open to the call of the Lord, the profound attraction towards the spirituality of Padre Pio, the numerous vocations among the youth, a sign of the benevolence of the Lord, the encouragement of their own bishops.

Among these elements was imposed his personal inspiration in a particular way to complete such a work. The spirituality of Fr. Galeone is similar to that of his spiritual director, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

His days are constantly filled with prayer. Great, humble and tireless is his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and it brings the gift of his efficacious word to everyone; it is the gift of communicating Christ whole and entire.

Pushed by his apostolic ardour, he also travels to distant nations in order to announce the richness and the efficacy of the charisma of the Servants of Suffering.