St. Gaetano Errico, Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts
It was a love of God that was indescribable in its intensity, alive and glowing, that caused Gaetano Errico to never falter in following the lead of the Holy Spirit, no matter the struggle, no matter the consequences. He carried within his own heart and mind the images of the Hearts of Jesus and his mother. He knew without doubt that the compassionate love they offered to all God's children needed to be presented to people everywhere, especially those who were the most abandoned of the world, whether it be a physical or spiritual abandonment. This formed the basis of his mission, for himself, for his priesthood, and ultimately the religious congregation he founded, the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. To strive to make known this love to all and to lead the faithful to return this most passionate love to Jesus and Mary became his sole driving force.
Day by day, city to city, village to village, among both the poorest and those of high esteem, he saw the hunger each possessed to know that sin was forgiven, that God's mercy was infinite and that they were loved. Countless souls found a merciful listener, the embodiment of God's promise of peace and renewal, in Fr. Gaetano. He found his own encouragement on his knees in prayer . . . indeed it was prayer and the hours he spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that strengthened and renewed him and kept the fire of his love for God ever burning.
In the Rule of the congregation, he stated the mission for all to follow which epitomized the fire of his love for Jesus and Mary . . . . . .” to toil to the loss of everything, not excluding life if necessary, to make known to all people the most ardent love of the Sacred Hearts and to kindle this holy and divine love in the hearts of humanity.”
The Life of Gaetano Errico:
Born: October 19, 1791, Secondigliano (Naples) Italy
Entered Secular seminary: January 1808
Ordained: September 23, 1815, Chapel of St. Restituta, Cathedral of Naples
Received Approval for new congregation, Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary: March 14, 1836
Death: October 29, 1860
Declared Venerable by Pope Leo XIII: December 1876
Pope Paul VI declared the heroism of his virtues: October 4, 1974
Beatification decreed by Pope John Paul II: April 21, 2001
Beatified: April 14, 2002
Canonization decreed by Pope Benedict XV: July 6, 2007
Canonization: October 12, 2008