Richard Pampuri (1897-1930)
This remarkable Italian physician saint left a heroic legacy in health care . . .
Feast Day: May 1
Canonized: November 1, 1989
A late vocation, Richard Pampuri was an Italian spiritual physician as well as a doctor of medicine. Orphaned by age 10, the young Erminio Filippo Pampuri (Richard was his religious name) dreamt of becoming a missionary priest, but was dissuaded from it because of delicate health. However, he served in the army during World War I and later graduated from medical school at the top of his class.
Renowned for his Christian charity, he served on-call all the time and charged the poor little to nothing. Dedicated to Eucharistic adoration and Mary, he lived the Gospel in the midst of the world through prayer and action.
In 1927 he partly realized his boyhood dream, becoming not a priest serving abroad, but a religious serving his own people. The order he joined, the St. John of God Brothers, ran a hospital where he carried on his medical apostolate as a professed religious.
He died two years after completing his novitiate, “leaving behind the memory of a doctor who knew how to transform his own profession into a mission of charity,” according to the 1978 decree of his heroic virtue.
MATTHEW RAREY is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.