The Father of the Poor

Thursday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time/ October 8, 2020/ Feast of St. John Calabria

Gospel: Matthew 6:31-33

Friends, today we celebrate the Feast of St. John Calabria. He is the first ‘care taker’ of the congregation Poor Servants of Divine Providence. I will share with today a little about his biography. If you want to know more about our congregation please visit: &

JOHN CALABRIA (Original Name: Giovanni Maria Orestes Calabria) was born on October 8th 1873 in Verona, Italy. He was the seventh and last child of Luigi Calabria , a cobbler and of Angela Foschio, a maidservant to the upper-class. Poverty was John Calabria´s mistress right from his birth. After his father’s death (1886), he had to interrupt his 4th year of Elementary School in order to find a job.

The Rector of San Lorenzo, Fr.  Pietro Scapini,  noticing his desire to become a Priest, prepared him privately for the entrance examination to the Lyceum at the Seminary. His studies were once again interrupted by a two-year military service. In September of 1896 he returned to the seminary.

A very meaningful episode happened in November of 1897, late in the evening. Upon reaching the entrance gate he saw some rags on the ground and knelt down… among the rags was a boy.  It was the prelude of his work with orphaned and abandoned boys.

John became a Deacon on March 23, 1901 and was ordained priest on August 11 of the same year. After his ordination Fr. John was appointed confessor of the seminary and assistant at St. Stephen’s Church. In 1907, he became the Rector of St Benedetto del Monte.  

On November 26th 1907 Fr. John Calabria founded the first “Casa Buoni Fanciulli” with six boys. Gradually the number of the boys increased and that made them move to San Zeno in Monte in November of 1908 which became the Mother House of the Congregation until today.  It was in 1910 that a new branch sprouted for Sisters with the same charism, spirituality and aim and bore the name Poor Servants of Divine Providence Sisters. Fr. Calabria entrusted the two Congregations to the same mission the Lord had inspired him since his early priesthood: which is that of seeking first and foremost the Kingdom of God and His justice.” (Mt. 6, 25-34). Afterwards both Congregations spread progressively to various countries.

He died on December 4th 1954. Pope John Paul II beatified Fr. Calabria on April 17th 1988 and the Canonization took place in Rome on April 18th 1999.


We are the religious brothers, priests, & sisters of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence (PSDP), a catholic religious congregation, founded by St. John Calabria on 1907 in Verona, Italy.

In the Philippines we are the Mission Mary Mother of the Poor, which is officially certificated as Filipino incorporation named Don Calabria Missions, Inc.

According to the intuition of our Founder we form the Calabrian Family, composed by the PSDP Brothers-Priests/Sisters, Missionaries of the Poor Sisters, Alumni Association, lay collaborators and all  who live the spirituality of St. John Calabria.

VISION: “Seek first the Kingdom of God”

MISSION: To revive in the world faith and trust in God, Father of all humans through the total abandonment to his divine providence, intensely lived and clearly witnessed in all personal and community events and in historical events of the world.

CHARISM: As Calabrian Family, our Charism is the seeking of the kingdom of God which, for us, becomes a reality in the commitment to revive in the world faith and trust in God, Father of all humans through the total abandonment to his Divine Providence.


Our charism, as our identity, commits us to live the way Fr. John Calabria has inspired us. This way of life is the Calabrian Spirituality with its foundation pillars:

  • Faith and total abandonment to God the Father and His Providence;
  • Without anxieties, without counting on human reasoning and without worries;
  • Being ‘living Gospels’;
  • Availability to any work in any place, especially where there is ‘nothing to be expect in return’;
  • Preference for the least of our brothers and Sisters;
  • Humility and simplicity in our life style;
  • Fraternity and communion in the Calabrian Family;
  • Love for the Church and Ecumenism.

Prayer to St. John Calabria

O God, our Father, we praise you for your Providence, with which you govern the universe and our life. We thank You for the gift of evangelical holiness which you have granted to Your servant, St. John Calabria. On his example, desirous only of the coming of Your kingdom, we abandon to You all our worries. Grant us your spirit to make our hearts simple and available to your will. Enable us to love our brothers and sisters’ above all the poorest and the abandoned, that one day, together with them, we may reach the unending joy, where You await us with Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the intercession of St. John Calabria, grant us the grace that we now ask you with confidence. Amen.


Published by Rev. Fr. John Mark

Poor Servant Religious

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