Bl. Ludovico Pavoni
April 1, Blessed


Trained in theology by the Dominican Father Carlo Ferrari, future bishop of Brescia, Italy. Ordained in 1807. Founded an Oratory for Christian education of poor boys in Brescia. Secretary to bishop Gabrio Nava in 1812.

Rector of Saint Barnabas church in 1818 where soon after he founded an orphanage and associated trade school, basing his work on the idea that improving social conditions will improve the spiritual life, and improving the spiritual life will improve social conditions. In 1821 the school became the Institute of Saint Barnabas. Along with carpentry, silversmithing, blacksmithing, shoemaking, agriculture, and tool and dye makers, the school stressed the trades of printing and publishing. In 1823 Ludivico established The Publishing House of the Institute of Saint Barnabas; it exists today under the name Ancora. That same year, the school began taking in deaf and mute students.

In 1825 he founded a religious congregation of priests and brothers to run the school; it became the Sons of Mary Immaculate or Pavoniani, Pavonians. Pope Gregory XVI authorized it for Brescia in 1843, and on 8 December 1847, Ludovico and the first members made their religious profession. Today there are 210 members in Brazil, Colombia, Eritrea, Germany, Italy and Spain, and they still publish books.

On  March 24, 1849, Brescia was in rebellion against the Austrians. Both sides were ready to pillage the city and Father Ludovico led his boys to safety at Saiano, seven miles away. He died a week later as Brescia was in flames, but his boys were safe.

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