Miniature Lives of the Saints – Blessed Ippolito Galantini

detail of a medal of Blessed Ippolito Galantini; 1620, date unknown; photographed by Sailko; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Blessed Ippolito was born in Florence A.D. 1565. As a child he attracted other children to him, and taught them the words of eternal life. Already he longed to leave the world and serve God in religion. But this was not to be. He was the son of a poor silkweaver, and had to work all day to the end of his life. God sent him continually most grievous sicknesses, which at last reduced him to penury. Before the foundation of his own institute he was placed at the head of seven confraternities, and driven from each by the ingratitude or malice of its members. Holy and learned men were set against him, and publicly denounced his labours. After this preparation his life’s work began—the foundation of the Congregation of Christian Doctrine. This was an institute for the instruction of the young on all festivals. Ippolito laid down rules for his children much like those which Saint Philip Neri was framing for his brothers of the Oratory in Rome. The Congregation changed the face of Florence; and Ippolito was sent for by many towns to establish his institute in their midst. Still his persecutions never ceased. An attempt was even made on his life ; and he was accused of heresy to the Holy Office. But the servant of God prevailed, and His work was established. He died a.d. 1619. In 1824 the Saint’s institute was re-examined, and again solemnly approved by Leo XII.

Blessed Ippolito was a working man, poor, sickly, and uneducated. Yet he prepared the young, for the Sacraments and the sick for death ; and was called by Leo XI. the * Apostle of Florence.’ God has given us more of this world’s goods; what are we doing for the instruction of those souls for which He died ?

“Let our one endeavour be to instruct the tender minds of our children in virtue and the fear of God, and let all other things take a second place.” -Saint John Chrysostom

Blessed Ippolito laboured only to remove that ignorance which is the cause of sin, and he never lost an opportunity of enlightening a soul. The innkeeper at Siena with whom he was staying was leading a profligate life. Ippolito spoke to him of the hideousness of his vice, and notwithstanding the man’s violent abuse, ended by attaining his conversion. Some youths whom he had reproved in the streets for immodest language fell upon him with their sticks and left him half dead, but the servant of God only rejoiced to suffer for the honour of God, and he was often known to spend sixteen consecutive hours in instructing an ignorant or obstinate sinner.

They that instruct many to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity. – Daniel 12:3

MLA Citation

  • Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Blessed Ippolito Galantini”. Miniature Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 February 2015. Web. 22 September 2017. <>