St. Joseph Calasanz

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Joseph Calasanz, from Aragon Region in Spain, had a long and intense life (1557-1648), spent almost completely to the service of the education of the youth. He founded what has been called “the first popular, tuition free, public school in Europe”, the Pious Schools. The opposition and the difficulties of any kind he met almost destroyed his work, but Calasanz – as s patient Job and really stubborn, secure that in the end, the Order and the schools would be reborn, even more spread around the world and more efficacious than before – continued trusting and hoping against any evidence. In addition, the facts demonstrated that his ideas were not foolish remarks of a dreaming old man, but rather visions of a prophet, of a witness close to God. In these pages is presented the historical figure of the “pioneer of the popular school” and of his work, among lights and shadows of the ecclesiastical environment of his time, and with the whole originality of his pedagogical vision.

Mario Spinelli is a writer, journalist and professor. He has studied and translated works of the Fathers of the Church, classic authors of the spirituality and medieval authors. In the same way, he is an author of several historical propaganda works. Among his publications are important: Senza voltarsi indietro vita di Gaspare del Bufalo, Rome 1994; La donna della parola. Vita di Maria de Mattias, Rome 1997; I santi di Rome 1999.

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