Saint Luigi Guanella

Saint Luigi GuanellaAlso known as

  • Aloisius Guanella
  • Aloysius Guanella
  • Don Luigi
  • Louis Guanella
  • Ludovicus Guanella



Ninth of thirteen children born to Lawrence and Maria Guanella, a poor but pious family. Luigi entered seminary at age twelve, and was ordained on 26 May 1866. He worked with Saint John Bosco from 1875 to 1878 to care for homeless children. Youth director in Turin, Italy. Parish priest in Traona, Itay, where he opened a school for the poor; local antiCatholic Masons forced its closure in 1881.

Parish priest in Pianello del Lario, Italy in 1881 where he founded an orphanage and nursing home. In 1886 the need had outgrown the facility, and Father Luigi moved the home to a larger building which he called the Little House of Divine Providence. There he founded the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence to minister to the residents; the congregation received papal approval in 1917, and today has over 1,200 sisters working in over 100 homes. In 1908 Luigi founded a men’s congregation, the Servants of Charity (Guanellians) which received papal approval in 1928 and 1935, and today has over 500 brothers in over 50 houses.

Father Luigi never bothered to retire, continuing to write meditations and inspirational works, and minister to those in need. Friend and advisor to Blessed Andrea Carlo Ferrari and Pope Saint Pius X. He reclaimed marsh land in the Sondrio region, and built an institute for the handicapped. He worked in the United States with Italian immigrants in 1912. In 1913 he founded the Confraternity of Saint Joseph whose mission is to pray for the dying, and which today has 10 million members. In 1915, just months before his death, Luigi went into the fields to minister to those who had been harmed by a series of earthquakes in the region.






Additional Information


O my Jesus, draw me entirely to you. Draw me with all the love of my heart. If I knew that one fiber of my heart did not palpitate for you, I would tear it out at any cost. But I know that I could not speak without your help. Draw me, O my Jesus, draw me completely. I know it well, my heart cannot rest until it rests in your heart. Saint Luigi

There is need of living well, but there is even more need of dying well. A good death is everything, especially today where people think only of things and enjoyment here on earth, rejecting eternity. Saint Luigi

We may never make the church into a hallway, or a courtyard or highway, or a public square. Saint Luigi

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Luigi Guanella“. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 February 2019. Web. 27 January 2022. <>