27.03.

1888: Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno was also a Distinguished Mathematician

1888: Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno was also a Distinguished Mathematician
Photo Credit To http://www.donbosco-torino.it/image/05/04-D_Bosco_B_Faa_di_Bruno.jpg

Pope John Paul II said that Faà di Bruno was „a giant of faith and charity“. Unusually, Blessed Francesco became a priest only at the age of 51.

 

Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno, a distinguished mathematician and Blessed of the Catholic Church, died on this date in 1888. He was born in 1825 in the Italian city of Allesandria, situated between the cities Milan, Genoa, and Turin. His family was of aristocratic origin, with his father holding the title of marquis.

Francesco began his career as a military officer, but then attained a PhD in Mathematics. He worked in Torino as a university teacher, but also for charity organizations. He got to know the influential Italian saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Society.

Unusually, Blessed Francesco became a priest only at the age of 51. After a long career in mathematics and science, he decided to study theology and was later ordained as a priest. In 1881 he founded the Minim Sisters of St. Zita to help provide for maids and domestic servants, and their activities later expanded to other groups such as unmarried mothers. Blessed Francesco also helped found shelters for the poor, the elderly, and prostitutes. He died in Turin, aged 62.

Francesco Faà di Bruno was proclaimed a Blessed of the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II on 27 March 1988, precisely on the 100th anniversary of his death. The main shrine of Francesco is located in Turin, where his body was interned. Pope John Paul II said that Faà di Bruno was „a giant of faith and charity“. Faà di Bruno is also known for some major contributions to the field of mathematics, especially elimination theory and the theory of elliptic functions.

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