Raised in a pious family, he was educated by the Barnabites in Bologna, Italy and the Jesuits in Ferrara, Italy. Jesuit novice in Rome, Italy in 1838, but health problems force him to drop out and return home. When he improved, he studied theology in Ferrara, and was ordained in 1844.
Noted spiritual director and preacher of home missions. He taught Italian and Latin at the seminary in Finale Emilia, Italy, and studied civil and canon law at the Pontifical University of Bologna, Italy. In 1851 the Archbishop of Bologna asked him to administer a troubled parish in Galeazza, Italy. He was so successful at renewing his flock that he was appointed him the parish priest; he stayed for 41 years.
In 1867 Father Ferdinand lost his voice, and was forced to write out his lessons and have others deliver them. With his public work restricted, he concentrated on one-to-one spiritual direction, hearing confessions up to 16 hours at a time. His direction, and his personal holiness, attracted so many spiritual students that without his planning it, a religious congregation formed around the parish. The Confraternity of the Sorrowful Mother was founded to teach poor girls in the area. Later, the Servite Third Order was established. In 1862 he opened a small convent for the members, and in 1866 they were formalized under the rule of the Mantellate Servile Sisters of Rome; the community was approved by the Archbishop of Bologna in 1899, and by the Vatican in 1919. The Confraternity continues its work today in Italy, Germany, Brazil, South Korea and the Czech Republic.
- “Blessed Ferdinando Maria Baccilieri“. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 July 2015. Web. 27 November 2015. <>