Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Servant of God Rev. Fr Antonio Tannoia, C.SS.R. (1727-1808)

Born on 26 October, 1717, Father Tannoia entered the Redemptorist Congregation at the age of 19 years, 13 years after its foundation, after having assisted at a Holy Mission. He was professed on 8 December, 1747 and ordained on 1 November, 1750. He became the Novice Master and contributed most to the work of putting together the "Rule of Novices". He has been immortalised by his book "Recollections of the Life and Institute of Saint Alphonsus" (often referred to as simply "Tannoia") and the biographies of other Redemptorists.

At the request of one of the most distinguished doctors of Naples, Fr Tannoia composed a book entitled "Bees" concerning their utility and the best methods of keeping them. This work, written in spare moments and without the intention of publication cost him 40 years of work. The public good soon became the motivation for a project which would normally have been a pure distraction. Fr. Tannoia was convinced that the agricultural method used until then in Pouille was excellent and did not deserve the disdain in which certain persons held it. He wished to vindicate the method and show how the Kingdom of Naples possessed in its heartland a resource of incredible value. The book was immensely successful.

Distinguished author, first historian of St. Alphonsus, he was also a man of great virtue and his merits in heaven seemed to show themselves by wonderful prodigies. All admired in him a religious always suffering and always happy in the midst of trials.

The the old man of 80, in his 61st year of profession, gave up his beautiful soul to God on 12 March, 1808. Prodigious graces were received after his death through his intercession. His life was written by Father Dumortier.†

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