John was born at Voltaggio, Italy, in 1698. He received excellent education and was ordained in 1721 and shortly after that he was afflicted with epilepsy.
For the next forty years he performed labours which would have taxed the strength of a robust man.
He ministered to the sick and poor in St Gall, the night hospice for very poor people founded by Celestine III. He also administered to cattle drivers, homeless women and girls who wandered about begging or walked the streets by night.
As an assistant priest, he spent many hours hearing confessions, especially of the poor and unlearned. He used his pittance and stipends to rent a house and housed all the homeless people there. Because of his desire and zeal, he was given the unusual privilege to hearing confessions in any church in Rome. He was in great demand for parish missions. He often preached five to six times a day in churches, convents, barracks and hospitals.
As his health deteriorated, he retired to the hospital of the Trinity where he had helped lots of people and died of stroke on May 23, 1764. He was canonised in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII.
May the zeal with which St John Baptist Dei Rossi had help us also to evangelise especially to those who are society’s poorest of the poor. Amen
St John, pray for us. Happy feast day to all John, Joana and Jean.
Compiled by Elvira Kudiabor
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