Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli

detail of a portrait of Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, date and artist unknown; swiped from Santi e BeatiAlso known as

  • Januarius Maria Sarnelli



Son of the Baron of Ciorani. Civil and canon lawyer at age 20. Friend of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. While working with terminally ill patients, Gennaro felt a call to the priesthood, and in 1728 he gave up the law and entered the seminary. Ordained on 8 June 1732, he gave away all his personal property and wealth to the poor. He dedicated himself to helping and catechizing children that today we would call “at risk” of entering lives of crime, and of working to help young women out of lives as prostitutes; this last work led to many threats against him and his family from criminal elements who made money on the sex trade. Member of the Congregation of Apostolical Missions. Joined the Redemptorists in 1733. In 1736 he was sent to Naples, Italy where he worked to support the missioner work of the Redemptorists and spent his spare time ministering to the sick, the elderly, prisoners and young boys forced into labour at the docks. Wrote more than 30 books of a number of pastoral, social and theological topics, and left many more unfinished.





MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli“. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 June 2015. Web. 26 October 2016. <>