AN APOSTLE OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
The illustrious Apostle of the Precious Blood, Blessed Caspar del Bufalo, beatified by Pope Pius X, December 18, 1904, was born at Rome on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1786. As a child During the first and second years of his child hood, the little boy, of frail constitution, was twice threatened with serious ailments. But God, Who disposes all things for the good of the elect, made use of the child s weakness to bestow upon him special favors. At this early age he was confirmed and thus received the fullness of the divine Spirit. It is attested, that he never lost his baptismal innocence nor grieved the Holy Spirit by one grievous sin. A severe attack of the measles affected his eyes to such an extent that it was feared he would remain blind for life. In her dire distress, his pious mother Annunziata had recourse to St. Francis Xavier, who seemed to have taken the little boy under his special protection, and obtained from him an almost instant cure. Later on, when Caspar could realize the favor received from his benefactor, he chose the saint as his special patron and his whole life was inspired by the deeds of the Apostle of India.
As a boy Already before his twelfth year, Caspar astonished his parents, Antonio and Annunziata del Bufalo, by his deep and fervent piety; so that his good mother often complained, that this child puts her to shame. He trembled at the mere shadow of sin and was then heard to exclaim: My love, my love, no more sins, help, help! He was frequently found on his knees before his little altar spending the night in prayer. Every Thursday night, and also during the novenas to the Holy Ghost and to the Blessed Virgin, he slept on the bare floor. He even fasted and wore a belt made of little pieces of tin, which he fastened around his tender body by a wire so tightly as to draw blood. When he was told that it was unlawful to do this without the permission of his confessor, he at once ceased wearing it. But he did not neglect to practice interior mortification, which is a surer test of sanctity. When assailed by his fiery temperament that sent the blood rushing to his head, he would try to conquer his anger, by doing such violence to himself that he changed color and held his breath, or he would cover his face with his hands and exclaim: O Mary, my dear mother! He was usually called the little Aloysius. Three years he prepared himself constantly for Holy Communion. His ardent desire for the food of angels became in him a veritable fever. Often he would ask a companion returning from church, What did our Lord tell you today in Holy Communion?
Caspar del Bufalo was ordained priest July 31, 1808, and was at once made one of the canons of San Marco, Rome. But he was engaged also in many other charitable works. Napoleon was just then in the zenith of his glory, and in 1809 sent Gen. Miollis to invade Rome and annex the papal states. Excommunicated by Pius VII, he ordered the Pontiff taken into exile along with the most notable of the clergy. Called upon to swear allegiance to the invaders, del Bufalo resolutely replied; I cannot, I dare not, I will not. He was 24 years old when led into exile.
Four Years, from 1810 till 1814, Caspar del Bufalo suffered in prison. Napoleon had spilt enough human blood; his world-empire had not been realized, his tyrannical sway came to a sudden end. Another army of the Precious Blood with del Bufalo as their leader, was now to take the field and conquer all things for Christ, and to help extend the empire of the Precious Blood over the universe. Our Lord once told Blessed Angela of Foligno that the word of the Gospel went with power to the soul only when it passed over the lips stained with His Precious Blood. Evidently, Caspars singular eloquence received its impetus and its efficacy from the Blood of Jesus flowing from the Cross; that same Blood, which, from its pulpit on Calvary, caused the rocks to split, the earth to quake, and the dead to rise. He was in truth the Trumpet of the Precious Blood, as a saintly nun had prophesied. He bound himself by a vow to spread the devotion to the Precious Blood, and everywhere on his missions he established the Archconfraternity of the Precious Blood.