Camilleri, Nazzareno (18.11.1906-1.3.1973)

Salesian of saintly fame

Born in Sliema, Camilleri joined the Salesian Order at San Gregorio, Catania in 1922 and made his first professional vows in October 1923.

In 1926 he entered the Gregorian University from where graduated in philosophy. In 1931 he pursued his theological studies and was ordained priest in Malta in 1934. After his ordination, he was appointed professor of theology and prefect of studies to the Salesians at San Callisto in Rome. In 1937 Camilleri was nominated professor of moral theology at the Pontificio Ateneo Satesiano (PAS) in Crocetta, Turin. He submitted his thesis in January 1940 and in June 1940 was awarded a doctorate summa cum laude. Between 1945 and 1954, Camilleri was dean of the faculty of theology at the International Institute (PAS) in Turin. Camilleri taught many international students, amongst them the Salesian cardinal, Silva Raul of Chile, and several Salesian bishops. He was interned during World War 11.

Camilleri participated , in the third international Philosophy Congress of Thomistic Studies (1949), the First General Congress of Religious Orders (1950), and the First International Pedagogical Congress for Religious Nuns (1951). Due to ill health, Camilleri gave up teaching in 1966. He died in Rome and is buried at Genzano Cemetery near Rome. Camilleri was much admired for his spirituality and in 1994 the Salesian Order issued a decree stating that the process leading to Fr Camilleri's canonization had started.

A prolific religious writer, Camilleri published his thesis, De natura actus visionis beatificae apud theologos post Tjidentinos: ciitica inquisitio positivo-scholastica in sententiarn de visione Dei intuitive per comunicationem actus increati (Turin, 1944); Piincipi di Educazione Cristiana (Turin 1960); I Novissimi e la Comunieone dei Santi (Brescia, 1961); La Grande Indulgenza de lLavoro (Turin, 1962); Opera e spirito della Santa Maria Dom. Mazzarello Co-fondatrice delle suore salesiane (Turin, 1962); and La Maestra delle Novizie (Turin, 1962). He also published several spiritual writings in Salesian jounals.

Bibliography: Philip Grech. Il-Prof. Dun Nazzareno Camillleri, Salezjan Malti fuq it-tarag tal-qdusija? (1985)

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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