Father Greco spent his
life in Acri working among the poor and needy of Calabria and was always
acutely aware of the social and economic difficulties endured by his people.
He was particularly dedicated to ministering to the young. Recognizing the
obligation both to nurture their faith and to provide for their human needs,
he soon established a Catechetical School. This led to many activities that
helped lift the hope and spirits of the poor, including the religious and
secular education of the young and the care of the elderly and the sick.
To address their human needs, Father Greco established Caritas Hospital,
which offered assistance to the sick and gave a voice to the voiceless. On
November 21, 1894, with the help of a dedicated young catechist, Raffaella
De Vincenti, Father Greco founded a congregation of religious Sisters - “The
Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts”.
Consecrating his own life
to Jesus and Mary, he always encouraged others to develop a love of and devotion
to the Sacred Hearts. On April 11, 1924, Father Greco was awarded papal honors
and was given the title, Monsignor, in recognition of his outstanding pastoral
ministry. Monsignor Greco died on January 13, 1931 and his body is reposed
in the Mother House of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts in Acri.
On July 7, 1940, Pope Pius
XII granted pontifical approval to the Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred
Hearts, allowing them to continue the charism of their founder and to expand
their missions in Italy, America, Albania, Argentina and India.
Recognizing his heroic
virtues and example of Christian life, the Church started the process of
canonization of Monsignor Greco on December 8, 1957. On April 19, 2004, Pope
John Paul II proclaimed the name of Francesco Maria Greco as one of the Venerable
of the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Greco left us
the beauty of a simple and authentic life, lived in its intensity in Christ.
He continues to intercede for us from above. We pray for his beatification
and ultimate canonization.
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