The Second the Founder
Bishop Massimo Rinaldi understood and loved so deeply the Charism and the intent of Bishop Scalabrini’s founding genius, so as to become his most convinced successor, thus deserving to be called the second moral, spiritual and operative Founder of the Scalabrinian Missionary Fathers and Sisters.
Massimo Rinaldi was born in Rieti on September 24, 1869. The third of 4 children, at 4 years of age he suffered the loss of his mother. He studied in the Rieti seminary under the theologian Luigi Flavoni and his paternal uncle Msgr. Domenico Rinaldi.
He was ordained to the priesthood on July 16, 1893 and did initial pastoral work in the parishes of Ornaro and Greccio. From 1897 to 1900 he was the secretary and administrator under his uncle Domenico Rinaldi, who had become Bishop of Montefiascone.
He came to know the Missionaries of St. Charles for the Italian Emigrants in America, founded by John Baptist Scalabrini, and, realizing it was the right initiative to fulfill his vocation, he left Montefiascone without warning his uncle and, after a one month stay in Piacenza, on November 5, 1900 he sailed from Genoa for Brazil as a Scalabrinian. On December 20 he was already in Encantado in Río Grande do Sul, for the celebration of Christmas.
He began his ministry among the Italian settlers; he helped them and reached them on foot or on horseback in their far-off villages, transforming shacks into chapels.
In 1904 he was visited by the Founder who appointed him Provincial Superior. He returned to Italy 1910 for the General Chapter of the Congregation, which elected him unanimously General Procurator and Treasurer. He worked in Rome until 1924, acting also as Vicar General. He built the Scalabrinians’ General House in via Calandrelli.
Pope Pius XI appointed him Bishop of Rieti at a very crucial moment in the life of the Scalabrinian Institute.
He was consecrated bishop in the Cathedral of Rieti on March 19, 1925 by Cardinal Raffaele Merry del Val. He continued a prudent and extensive correspondence with individual Scalabrinians regarding the delicate situation of the Institute of which he kept considering himself an active member.
Bishop Massimo Rinaldi died in Rome on May 31, 1941. Cardinal Raffaello Carlo Rossi, in the letter he sent to the Scalabrinians, whose Superior General he had become, wrote the following in memory of Bishop Rinaldi: «Today as we approached the third anniversary of the Bishop Rinaldi’s passing, I wish especially to honor the memory of your venerated and illustrious confrère, who, as the Lord Jesus, sought to pass among us doing good».
Actor of the Cause of Beatification
Diocese of Rieti
- Via Cintia, 83 – 02100, Rieti, Italy
- Tel. +39.746.253636
- Fr. Giovan Giuseppe Califano, ofm, postulator
- Fr. Gabriele Bentoglio, vice-postulator
Prayer for the beatification of the Venerable
Oh God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
We thank you for having given your Church the Venerable Bishop Massimo Rinaldi as an outstanding Shepherd.
Through his enlightened zeal,
great piety and exemplary goodness and unsurpassed missionary heart,
he led your people on the road to the Kingdom of peace, justice and love.
To honor his memory,
raise in your Church priests, deacons and men and women religious according to your Heart
and make all of us, lay men and women,
authentic and responsible Christian witnesses of the good news brought into the world by Jesus,
who is our light and our joy.
Prayer to ask favors
through the merits of the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
deign to glorify on earth your humble servant the Venerable Bishop Massimo Rinaldi
by granting our prayers which we confidently seek through his intercession.
We ask especially…
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be…
(+Giuseppe Molinari, Bishop of Rieti)