Saint Richard Pampuri, O.H., (2 August 1897 – 1 May 1930), was an Italian medical doctor and veteran of World War I, was born Erminio Filippo Pampuri, on 2 August 1897 in Trivolzio, Pavia, the tenth of the eleven children of Innocenzo Pampuri and Angela Campari. When he was three years of age his mother died and he was then taken into the home of his mother’s sister, at Torrino, a village near Trivolzio. In 1907 also his father is expired at Milan.
As a young boy Richard wanted to become a missionary priest, but was dissuaded from this on account of his delicate health. In his youth Richard attended two primary schools at nearby villages and then went to Milan where he attended a junior high school. He completed his high school studies as a boarder at Augustine’s College, Pavia, where after graduation, he enrolled in the Medical Faculty of Pavia University.
Between the years 1915 and 1920, he was in the fighting zone of World War I. He served firstly as a sergeant and later went into training as an officer in the Medical Corps. On 6 July 1921, he graduated top of his class in Medicine and Surgery at the above mentioned university.
Very soon his heart and mind began opening up to the Christian ideals of medicine and the apostolate. Even as a young boy he wanted to become a missionary priest, but was dissuaded from this on account of his delicate health.
Whilst living in the midst of the world, he openly and consistently professed the Gospel message and practised works of charity with generosity and devotion. He loved prayer and kept himself constantly in close union with God, even when he was kept very busy. He had a tremendous devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed the Rosary often more than once a day.
Throughout his life as a religious, Richard was, as he had always been before he became a St. John of God Brother, a model of virtue and charity: to his Brothers in the Order, the patients, the doctors, the paramedics, the nurses, and all who came into contact with him. Everybody agreed upon his sanctity.
He suffered a fresh outbreak of pleurisy, which he first contracted during his military service, and this degenerated into specific bronco-pneumonia. On 18 April 1930 he was taken from Brescia to Milan, where he died in sanctity on 1 May at the age of 33 years: “leaving behind, the memory of a doctor who knew how to transform his own profession into a mission of charity; and a religious brother who reproduced within himself, the charism of a true son of St. John of God” (Decree of heroic virtue, 12 June 1978).
After his death, his reputation of sanctity which he demonstrated throughout his life, greatly expanded throughout Italy, Europe and the entire world. Many of the faithful received significant graces from God, even miraculous ones, through his intercession. The two required miracles were accepted and he was beatified by His Holiness John Paul II on 4 October 1981.
Later on, a miraculous healing through the intercession of Blessed Richard Pampuri, took place on 5 January 1982 at Alcadozo (Albacete, Spain). This was approved as a miracle and so, on the feast of All Saints, 1 November 1989, he was solemnly canonized.
“The brief, but intense life, of Brother Richard Pampuri is a stimulus for the entire People of God, but especially so for youth, doctors and religious brothers and sisters.
He invites the youth of today, to live joyfully and courageously in the Christian faith; to always listen to the Word of God, generously follow the teachings of Christ’s message and give themselves to the service of others.