06 The Teenager -Worker - Fr. F. M. Britto

posted Oct 3, 2018, 10:08 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 10:08 AM ]
During the Synod of bishops on youth, Pope Francis will canonise seven new saints on October 19. Besides Pope Paul VI and the assassinated Archbishop Romero, he will also canonize a 19-year-old teenager-worker.

Nuntius Sulprizio (also known as Nunzio Sulperio) was born on April 13, 1817 at Pescara, Italy. When Nuntius was only three years old, his father Domenico Sulprizio passed away on May 16, 1820. After two years, his (only) younger sister too died. Since his widowed young mother Rosa was finding it difficult to meet her ends meet, she got married to a much older man. It was a time of great famine, and she had no other support.

Nuntius went along with her. He went to a local school run by a priest, Fr De Fabiis. Besides learning the school subjects, the boy also learned a little faith. He became a pious boy, attending Mass every day and prayed to Our Lady.

The man always considered his step-son an unwanted burden, and treated him badly. So Nuntius' maternal uncle, Domenico Luciani, brought the boy to his house. This man, a blacksmith by profession, was worse than the step-father. He made the little boy do all sorts of manual work, giving him very little to eat, not sending him to school and no time to play with his friends. Finding fault with the boy, the man abused him and thrashed him regularly.

During the work, Nuntius' foot got infected. Since his uncle would not care for him, but forced him to do more work, the wound became gangrenous. Unable to bear the pain, he would often cool his leg in the village stream. Praying the Rosary, he would ask Mother Mary to cure him. The ladies, who came there for washing, would chase him, yelling that he had polluted the water. The pus-oozing sore caused him intense pain.

Hearing his nephew's plight, his paternal uncle, Francesco Sulprizio, a soldier, took him to his house. He introduced the boy to his friend, Colonel Felice Wochinger. The colonel was a very kind-hearted man, and he took care of the boy as if he was his own son.