Congregation of Oblates of
Who is Father Giovanni Antonio Rocco?
Father Giovanni Antonio Rocco, c.r.s. was born in Cercemaggiore (CB) Italy, on April 28th of 1913, son of Gianvincenzo Rocco and Carmela Cantarini.
Already as a boy he expressed a great religious spirit, so immediately after elementary school, in October 1923, at the age of ten he entered the Probandato dei Somaschi in Velletri, where he attended secondary school.
In September 1928, he entered the Novitiate in Rome, where the following year he made his simple profession vows. In April 1934, at the age of only 21, again in Rome, he made his Solemn Profession.
On 26 July 1936 in the Basilica of the SS.mo Crocifisso, in Como, he was consecrated a priest, by S. E. Mons.Alessandro Macchi c.r.s
In September 1936, he was sent by the General of the Somascans, Fr. Giovanni Ceriani c.r.s, to the studentate of Corbetta, where, the following year, with a special dispensation of the Holy Father Pius XII, for his young age, he was appointed Master of the Clerics. second novitiate.
Father Antonio Rocco, devoted and in love with Maria Santissima, former Master of the Somascan Clerics in Corbetta, assists the Rector of the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli and it is precisely in front of that miraculous effigy that he feels the thrust and inspiration that had long been in the his heart. There he had the clear sensation of hearing a voice: "IT IS ME WHO WANT IT."
Immediately after the war, Father Rocco was struck by the orphaned youth and abandoned the desire to found a charitable institution which he called "Mater Orphanorum".
He started alone and without any resources, without any protection, except the blessing of the Father General of the Somascan Fathers and the approval of the Archbishop of Milan.
September 8, 1945: Father Antonio Rocco, in Castelletto di Cuggiono, begins the Work with the opening of the first rented house, where many abandoned girls are welcomed and left without anyone and nothing in the Second World War.
In the historic site of the battle of Legnano, the first temple in the world was built, dedicated to "Holy Mary, Mother of the orphans", "Orphanorum Matri".
In 1955, Pope Pablo VI, then Bishop of Milan, blessed the temple which is the largest and most beautiful work dedicated to the Mother of God with the sweet Name of Mother of the orphans.
The mustard seed grows, hundreds of needy girls have found a home and a smile in mission centers in Latin America: Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Africa: Touboro and Ngaoundéré, Cameroun and Angola in the Diocese of Uije
Died on July 16, 2003 in Legnano. His mortal remains rest in the Orphanis Matri Temple in Legnano.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me”