Blessed Pius of Saint Aloysius, born Luigi Campidelli, was a religious and clerical student of the Passionist Congregation.
Luigi Campidelli was born to a family of impoverished farmers at Poggio Berni (Forli) on April 29, 1868. He was the fourth child born to Giuseppe and Filomena.
Giuseppe caught typhoid in 1874 and died, leaving the family destitute. An uncle came to their aid, but his lax morality was a trial for the devout family.
In his schooling Luigi was an admirable and in his teens he became more active in the life of his parish. He was known throughout the neighborhood as a good child and soon he felt a call to the priesthood. He was especially loyal to the Pope at a time when his native province of Romagna was torn between Catholics and atheistic secularists.
He encountered Passionist priests at the age of 12 and immediately wanted to join them. From this time on he was a frequent visitor to the Passionist house at Casale. He entered the Passionists at 14 years of age.
The young Luigi was drawn to the Mother of God, to the mystery of the Eucharist, and to Jesus Crucified. His way of holiness was fidelity to ordinary things with an extraordinary love. He entered the novitiate and on May 27, 1883 he was clothed in the Passionist habit and received the religious name Pius of Saint Aloysius.
The novitiate was temporarily transferred to Viterbo, the city in which fellow Passionist Blessed Dominic Barberi was born. Pius continued his theological and philosophical studies and on April 30, 1884 took his vows.
He received Minor Orders but was struck down with tuberculosis before he could be ordained priest. He died at 21 years of age on November 2, 1889, offering his life for his troubled home region of Romagna.
Pius of Saint Aloysius was solemnly beatified by Pope John Paul on November 17, 1985.
The Passionists celebrate his liturgical memorial on November 3rd. The following prayer is the Collect for the Mass and Office of Blessed Pius:
who reveal yourself in a marvelous way
to the little ones and to the pure of heart,
manifest yourself to us, we beseech you,
as you did to Blessed Pius,
and grant that we may follow you unceasingly,
our one and true God, in purity and sincerity of life,
loving you above all things and loving others with your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.