Italy / Biography
Mons. Giuseppe Maria Palatucci was born in Montella, in the province of Avellino, on 25 April 1892 to Giovanni and Carmela Palatucci.
Ordained a priest on 29 May 1915 in Rome, he celebrated his first Mass in his native Montella, in the parish church of S. Silvestro on 31 May. At the age of 45, in the full vigour of his strength, which had been directed into several activities, he received a letter from the Holy See in which the Pope Pius XI, on 16 August 1937, designated him bishop of Campagna, a town near Salerno.
His figure played a key role in the vicissitudes of the Jewish internees of Campagna (SA), so much so that a part of the Museum of Memory and Peace in Campagna is dedicated to his life and the story of the actions he took, together with his nephew Giovanni Palatucci, to help and save the Jews.
Giuseppe Maria Palatucci was a member of the Franciscan community at the convent of S. Maria del Monte, in Montella, where he studied at the state senior grammar school On 16 January 1908, he was received as a novice in the Ravello convent and started his Simple Religious Profession on 17 January the following year.
Sent to Rome to complete his higher studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he obtained a degree in philosophy, also attending schools at the Pontifical Faculty of Letters and Dante Studies at the Apollinare. After completing his philosophical studies, he went to the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at the International College of OFM Conv in 1913.
Especially during the period of the Second World War, when Campagna became a hospitable home for many foreign Jews and political persecuted people, that Monsignor Palatucci did his utmost, with all the strength and means at his disposal, to save them.
A certain esteem in which the Jewish supervisory authorities held the bishop, as well as perhaps a certain reverential fear, undoubtedly helped him to obtain concessions for the internees very often.
He died on the evening of Good Friday, 31 March 1961.
When the foreign Jewish internees arrived in Campagna in June 1940, Bishop Giuseppe Maria Palatucci gave them unconditional support, helping them both materially and spiritually.