• the Founder

    Blessed Pietro Bonilli

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Blessed Pietro Bonilli (15 March 1841 – 5 January 1935) was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Spoleto. Bonilli served as a diocesan priest for his entire life in both Trevi and Spoleto while using his order to reach out to orphans and homeless people.

Bonilli was ordained to the priesthood on 19 December 1863. He was appointed as the parish priest of Trevi and remained in that post until 1897. Bonilli founded his own religious congregation on 13 May 1888 in order to better care for orphans and homeless people while also providing them with a Christian and civic education. He also focused on catering to the needs of the deaf and the blind.[2] Bonilli had four postulants enter and the latter hopefuls received their habit from the Archbishop of Spoleto Elvezio Pagliari. He also opened an orphanage for children in 1887.

He became the canon of the Spoleto Cathedral in 1898. His spiritual guide was the priest Lodovico Pieri – the latter was also the guide of Blessed Placido Riccardi.The congregation went on to flourish and received the papal decree of praise of Pope Pius X on 8 March 1911 while on 10 May 1932 receiving full papal approval from Pope Pius XI.

He died in Spoleto in 1935.

Pope John Paul II beatified Bonilli on 24 April 1988.

Bonilli died in 1935 after his health started to deteriorate from 1918; he had lost his sight in 1929. His remains were transferred from their previous location on 24 April 1988 due to the earthquake of 26 September 1997. His order now operates in places such as India and El Salvador. As of 2005 there were 58 houses and a total of 385 religious.