On January 9, 1930, Ludovico (Vico) Necchi, professor of biology at the University of Milan,
died. According to his will, his headstone was to be inscribed with the simple words: Vico Necchi,
Franciscan Tertiary. An extraordinary man, he is buried in the chapel of the University of the
Sacred Heart in Milan in the expectation that one day he will be raised to the
As a young man Vico was deeply in love with Christ, St. Francis and the Church. Invested in
the habit of the Third Order, he displayed the enthusiasm of Paul and the gentleness of Francis. He
used his position as a physician to counter the secular, anti-Christian attitudes of his age and to
bring others to Christ. One of his converts was the radical, Augustine Gemelli, who with Vico was
the cofounder of the University of the Sacred Heart.
Vico himself was a prayerful, humble, charming and cheerful
man who stood at the forefront of the new Italian Catholic Action. Despite opposition and trials, he
used his medical profession as a holy apostolate for the conversion of his patients while his
charity was being lavished on retarded children.