“When I’m told that I am the founder of the Community of Pope John XXIII, I reply that I hope I’ll not cause it to founder! The true founders of the Community are the poor. Their cry to the Lord has awakened the Community’s charism in many young people and priests. I was the first to be called, but those who have come after me are so much better than me!”

These are the words of Father Oreste Benzi, founder of the Community of Pope John XXIII, and its president until he died, on 2nd November 2007, at the age of 82. He was described in many different ways: the priest of the least, the parish priest with a threadbare cassock, a martyr of charity, the saint of the humble… Pope Benedict XVI described him as a “tireless apostle of charity”.

But first and foremost, beneath his rich personality and infectious humanity, Father Oreste was, and is, a person in love with Christ, his Lord, the living Jesus, who is present in every person, is present in the poor, and in the people of God, which is His Church.

In October 2017 the Father Oreste Benzi Foundation was established in order to promote, encourage and deepen the study of Father Oreste Benzi’s thought, life and work, and to get to know him better through his writings and talks.

On the Foundation's website you will find his biography, details of books written both by and about him, and some works which have been published posthumously. You will also find some of his writings and sermons, as well as video and audio recordings, in a dedicated and regularly updated section.

In the section about Father Oreste Benzi’s Cause of Beatification you will be able to follow the ongoing beatification process and read some of the testimonies of people who met him.

You will also find useful information about the Father Oreste Benzi International Award, which is conferred annually on a person or association that has displayed exemplary commitment in favour of those who are marginalised, exploited or rejected by society.

Get involved and be challenged by this authentic prophet of God, who has never stopped wearing himself out for souls and living for the Church, even though he is now doing so from above!

 

“What I would really fear would be a lack of prophecy in the Community, which would then become a mere institution. If that happened, the Spirit in the Community would be suffocated, or even put out. We need prophets and we need prophecy.”

 

Intercessory prayer Servant of God Father Oreste Benzi (07.09.1925 – 02.11.2007)

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