October 24th




S. Stefano di Zimella - December 16, 1914


June 9, 1940


Udine October 24, 2003

AGE: 88 years old


            On Friday, October 24, 2003, in the late afternoon, sometime after 4:00 p.m., Fr. Joseph Zanini brought to a close his journey through this earthly life. He would have celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday on next December 16th.  He was born  at S. Stefano di Zimella.  

He entered our Congregation at Sezano, on September 1, 1927. Guided by exceptional formators, such as Fr. Emilio Recchia, Fr. Godfrey  Friedmann, and Fr. Benjamin Miori, he went through the various stages of religious formation from his Novitiate [in 1932], to his perpetual profession, on September 9, 1939. At Udine, he frequented the course of Philosophy and Theology at the Diocesan Seminary and was ordained a Priest on June 9, 1940. 

His  ministry might  briefly be summarized as follows: for the first 20 years, he taught mathematics in our Middle School in Gemona. And then, for some years he also taught  at the school conducted by the Franciscan  Missionary Sisters  of the Sacred Heart, also in Gemona. All this while, he also offered his services for the spiritual assistance of these Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. 

For about another  30 years, he taught mathematics at the Bertoni School in Udine, with much commitment. Throughout this long period of time he also served as Rector of the Church of St. Peter the Martyr. He was most dedicated  to teaching school and then, also in the Church, he showed himself to be exemplary in the conduct of his religious  life.  He acquired the good will and the esteem of all his confreres and also those persons who were drawn to him. 

When the Church of St. Peter the Martyr was closed for repairs, some of the faithful who were very close to Fr. Joseph would come every day for services that would be celebrated in our domestic chapel, at 5:30 in the afternoon. From 4:00 p.m. on, Fr. Joseph would make himself available for anyone who might wish to go to confession, or to receive spiritual direction from him.  

In the later afternoon of October 24th, it was noted that Fr. Joseph had not been seen by anyone.  His absence immediately  aroused some concern. Fr. Silvio Tomasi and Fr. Julius Dalmaso went to his room looking for him. Fr. Silvio also went through the various hall ways, and even the park outside. When Fr. Joseph was nowhere found, as a final possibility, it was thought that he might be down in the kitchen as every once in a while he would take a little walk for himself. 

And there, they found Fr. Joseph, face down on the floor, in a pool of blood. Traces of his blood were then noted in the nearby corridors as well as in his room. A doctor was called immediately, and he  discerned that the reason for his death were natural causes while the Police, who were also called for this emergency, conduced a careful investigation in the fear that the   good priest might have suffered  from some violence.  The doctor, who also knew him personally, stated that most likely  Fr. Joseph had suffered some internal crisis which provoked a very strong haemorrhage. The diagnosis was that the heart was not able to withstand this, from which a possible heart attack  followed, with a subsequent pulmonary oedema. 

We have all lost a confrere, who with his meekness and goodness, showered serenity and confidence about his person. Now before the Lord, another faithful servant prays for us.

May he rest in peace!

Italian version