Venerable Pio Giannotti

Venerable Pio GiannottiAlso known as

  • Damião of Bozzano
  • Damiano…


The second of five children born to Félix and Maria Giannotti, pious Italian peasants; his older brother, Guilherme, became a diocesan priest and seminary director, and his younger sister, Pia, joined the Sisters of Santa Zita. Pio’s first Communion had a profound effect on the boy; when the family came home from church that day, Pio disappeared and was later found in the attic, deep in prayer before a crucifix. He felt a call to religious life and service, and at age 12 entered the Capuchin seminary in Camigliano, Italy; he made his profession on 30 October 1921 and was ordained a priest in Rome, Italy on 5 July 1923. Beginning on 10 July 1925, Father Pio served as novice master at the Villa Basilica convent. In 1928 he was transferred to teach in the seminary in Massa, Italy. In 1931 he became a missionary in Pernambuco state in Brazil; he served there for the next 66 years, always on the move, living on the road and ministering to everyone he found. As his health began to fail (in his 90’s), it was more common for people to visit him in search of guidance than for him to go to them, but the stream of spiritual students literally never ended until the day he died; in hospital he would be found leading groups of visitors in praying the rosary.



  • 31 May 1997 in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil from a stroke
  • the president of Brazil proclaimed a three-day period of national mourning over the death
  • the funeral Mass was conducted at Arrunda Stadium in Recife, concelebrated by dozens of bishops and hundreds of priests
  • his coffin had to be helicoptered to the burial site; the streets were too clogged with thousands of mourners, and ground travel was impossible
  • buried in the Nostra Signora delle Grazie chapel in Pina, Brazil


MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Pio Giannotti“. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 July 2021. Web. 26 October 2021. <>