Saint Joseph Marello (1844-1895)
Bishop of Acqui and founder of the Oblates of Saint Joseph
Fortis of Suavis Sculpture by Thomas Marsh, March 19, 1997
Born in Turin, Italy, Joseph Marello lived as a zealous priest in the city of Asti. There he furthered the mission of Christ by devoting himself to the moral and religious formation of youth, the ministry of reconciliation through sacramental confession, the care of the elderly and disabled, and the support of the local clergy.
In 1878 Marello founded the Oblates of St. Joseph to continue this mission by imitating Saint Joseph, husband of Mary and virginal father of Jesus, who quietly and humbly dedicated his entire life to serving the interests of the Savior.
Appointed Bishop of Acqui in 1889, Marello made himself available to all, showed great charity to the poor, devoutly celebrated the sacred mysteries and tirelessly taught the fullness of the Christian faith. Those who met him revered him as a saint.
Joseph Marello was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Rome on November 25, 2001. His feast is celebrated on May 30, the day of his death, which the Church regards as the day of birth unto Eternal Life.
The title of this bronze statue, Fortis et Suavis, can be translated as "strong and kind" or "firm and gentle."
St. Joseph Marello blended unwavering firmness in adhering to the truths of the Catholic faith, with constant charity and gentleness in dealing with people.
The open Gospel Book in Marello's hand bears the inscription: "Matthew 1:19 - Vir Justus" referring to Saint Joseph, the "just man." The spirituality Marello lived and taught is summed up in this motto "Serve God in imitation of Saint Joseph."
This Shrine of Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer, was originally built by the Oblates of Saint Joseph in 1952. It underwent major remodeling in 1993, when it was dedicated by Bishop Sylvester Ryan. With its chapel, St. Joseph Art Exhibit and Bookstore, the Shrine's purpose is to invite pilgrims and visitors to find peace and reconciliation through knowledge of the faith lived by Saint Joseph. The presence of this statue of St. Joseph Marello in front beckons you to come and learn to serve Christ better by knowing Saint Joseph. Welcome to this holy place.
Prayer in Honor of Saint Joseph Marello
O God, you inspired in Saint Joseph Marello the fervent desire to express by his interior life and in his apostolate the Christian mystery as lived by Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer. By his intercession grant that we may imitate him in his intimate union with You and in his zeal for the service of the Church, We ask this
through Christ out Lord, Amen.