St. John Baptist Rossi

 Feastday: May 23
1698 - 1764

This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in the diocese of Genoa and was one of the four children of an excellent and highly respected couple. When he ws ten a nobleman and his wifre who were spending the summer at Voltaggio obtained permission from his parents to take him back with them to Genoa to be trained in their house. He remained with them three years, winning golden opinions from all, notably from two Capuchin friars who came to his patrons home. They carried such a favourable report of the boy to his uncle who was then minister provincial of the Capuchins that a cousin Lorenzo Rossi a canon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin invited him to come to Rome. The offer was accepted and he entered the Roman College at the age of thirteen. Popular with his teachers and with his fellow pupils he had completed the classical course with distinction when the reading of an ascetical book led him to embark on exfessive mortifications. The strain on his strength at a time when he was working hard led to a complete breakdown which boliged him to leave the roman College. He recovered sufficiently to complete his training at the Minerva, but he never was again relly robust. ndeed his subsequent labours were performed under the handicap of almost constant suffering.

On March 8, 1721 at the age of twenty three he was ordained and his first Mass was celebrated in the Roman College at the altar of St. Aloysius Gonzaga to whom he always had a special devotion.

His fame came from his work as a confessor and as his ministry to the sick.