The Servant of God, Joseph De Piro
Founder of the Missionary
Society of Saint Paul (1877-1933)
- His Life in Chronological Order
He was born in Mdina on the 2nd of November 1877 to the Noble Alessandro dei
Marchesi De Piro and Ursola nee' Agius, the seventh of nine children. He
received primary and secondary education, showing also considerable talent
for painting. Entered the Royal University of Malta as a student in the
Faculty of Arts and Sciences for three years.
Between 1897 and 1898 he started reading law. While at the University he
also served in the Royal Malta Militia.
At 21 he felt the call to the priesthood and on May 8, 1898 while praying to
our Lady of Pompei, decided that he should follow this vocation. He enrolled
as a student at the Capranica College, beginning his studies in Philosophy
and Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome.
On the 15th of March 1902 he was ordained priest at St. John
Lateran. Between 1902-1904 he spent a period of convalescence from TB at
Davos in Switzerland.
Returned to Malta and spent 3 years of pastoral work in the parish of
Appointed Director of Fra Diego's Orphanage for Girls.
Started the Missionary Society of Saint Paul by accepting the first two of
Nominated canon of the Cathedral of Malta.
The new Archbishop of Malta, Mgr. M. Caruana, appoints him as his secretary.
Between 1918-1920 he served as Rector of the Major Seminary of Malta in
He was one of the Maltese leaders during the Sette Giugno disturbances.
Nominated dean of the Cathedral Chapter.
Malta was given a new Constitution that the National Assembly - of which Fr.
Joseph De Piro was a hard working member - had striven for.
Served as a substitute parish-priest for some months in Gudja.
was made director of the following orphanages:
St. Joseph's Home, Hamrun.
Jesus of Nazareth Institute, Zejtun.
St. Joseph's Home, Ghajnsielem, Gozo.
The home for Little Children, St. Venera.
St. Francis de Paule Institute, B'Kara.
Served as intermediary between the Church and Lord Strickland.
Between 1932-1933 he served as a Senator in the third Maltese Parliament.
On the 17th of September 1933, Fr. De Piro, aged 56, died after collapsing
during a liturgical service at St. Cajetan's Parish Church, Hamrun.
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