PRIEST (DECEMBER 19, 2009)
“I WILL TRY TO BECOME A SAINT!”
Joseph Quadrio was born at Vervio (Sondrio, N.Italy) in a family of farmers, rich in Christian life. Already at the age of eight, he had adopted a rule of life that concluded with the words, “I will try to become a saint!”
Joseph became a Salesian in 1937 and considering his talents, he was sent for his philosophical studies to the Gregorian University in Rome. There, he also later did his theology after a couple of years of teaching philosophy for the students at Foglizzo. In these years of study, formation and of apostolate, his spirituality, deep interior life and goodness kept growing and began to be more and more evident, notwithstanding his desire to remain unknown. His success in studies and his high intellectual abilities did not in any way affect his cheerfulness and helpful character. He in no way manifested any pride.
After being ordained a priest in 1947 and having obtained a doctorate in theology in 1949, also in the Gregorian University, he started his career as teacher of theology in the Pontifical Athenaeum in Turin. His precise and clear teaching left a deep impression on his many students. In 1960 an incurable sickness cut short his life.
Fully aware of his sickness he continued teaching as long as he could, taking part also in all the community activities. During his frequent and long stays in the hospital, the warmth of his goodness towards the other sick attracted the admiration of doctors as well as other members of the staff. “The greatest miracle Fr. Rua has obtained for me from the beginning,” he wrote a few months before his death, “is the great and joyful peace which makes the days of my long waiting, the happiest and most beautiful of my life.” He died on October 23, 1963.