St. Giovanni Battista Piamarta
Born to a poor family, Giovanni’s mother died when the boy was nine years old, and the boy grew up in the slums, indifferently educated, but mentored part of the time by his religious maternal grandfather. As a young man he discovered a call to the priesthood, and he was ordained on December 24, 1865; assigned to the parish of Saint Alexander, Carzago Riviera, Bedizzole, Italy. Worked with poor youth and young factory workers in the Brescia region. On December 3, 1866, he and Father Pietro Capretti founded the Workman’s Institute to provide support and help keep Christianity in the lives of young people moving to the city for work. With Father Giovanni Bonsignori he founded Agricultural Colony of Remedello to provide similar services to farm workers. Religious brothers and sisters were drawn to the work Father Giovanni was doing, and in March 1900 he founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Congregation of the Sisters, Humble Servants of the Lord as formal religious congregations for them. His foundations and congregations continue today, furthering Father Giovanni’s dedication to young people.