Joseph De Piro
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|The Reverend Monsignor
Servant of God
Joseph De Piro
|Founder of the Missionary Society of St Paul|
Plaque commemorating Giuseppe De Piro in Mdina
November 2, 1877|
|Died||September 17, 1933
Giuseppe De Piro or Joseph De Piro, (2 November 1877 – 17 September 1933) was a Roman Catholic priest and missionary. He founded The Missionary Society of St Paul (MSSP) in June 1910 with a charism that Maltese priests would become missionaries. Presently holding the status of Servant of God, he is a candidate for beatification.
Monsignor Joseph De Piro was born in Mdina, Malta on 2 November 1877 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1903 in Rome. Although he was involved in various ministries within the Church his main concern was the missions and work amongst the poor. He continued to work towards his long cherished dream of establishing a Society of priests and brothers committed to the spreading of the gospel. From accepting the first two members in 1910 he waited eleven years for the official approval by the local bishop and seventeen years before Brother Joseph Caruana became the first Paulist missionary, and was sent to Ethiopia, where he remained until his death in 1975 at the age of 83.
Mgr De Piro started off with a small community in Mdina. When Monsignor De Piro died at the age of 55 in 1933 the Society was in its very initial stages. Over the years, members joined and the mission started with the Maltese emigrants in Australia and also in the US and Canada.
The first foundation in Australia in 1948 had been in Sydney three years earlier than the foundation in Melbourne. Both cities had a huge concentration of Maltese people. In Melbourne, for example, at that time there were about 23,000 Maltese born in Malta living and needing the chaplaincy of Maltese priests.
About forty years ago, the first group of three missionaries went to work in Peru. Other missions in Pakistan and the Philippines followed. The Society's general administration is in Rome. They are established in Australia, mainly in Melbourne and Sydney, in Peru in Arequipa and Lima, in Pakistan in Lahore and Manila, and in Bataan in the Philippines.
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