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Blessed Pio was born on 29 April 1868 in the city of Trebbio (Rimini, Italy). His father died when he was six years old. As a child, he had a particular inclination for prayer, a great horror for sin, and an amazing ability for perceiving the presence of God. In 1880, he met the Passionists during a parish mission. He heard an interior voice that said, “I want you to be a Passionist” and he wholeheartedly accepted the invitation. In fact, shortly afterward, he requested to be admitted to the Congregation, but the superiors told him to wait because he was still too young. His wish came true two years later when will entered the monastery of Casale in Santarcangelo in Romagna (Rimini).
On 27 May 1882, Pio was vested with the religious Habit and on 30 April 1884, he professed First Vows. He embraced the austere Passionist life with joy and tenacious loyalty. He was a model of virtue for everyone. In 1888, as he prepared for the priesthood, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Pio remained firm in his commitment to religious life, and entrusted himself to our Lord and our Lady. To those who suggested that he return to his family for better care, he replied, “I wouldn’t do it even for all the gold in the world”. He remained in the monastery where he continued his quick spiritual ascent with great zeal and without any regrets. He joyfully and lovingly accepted his suffering with great serenity. Wanting to comfort him, his mother went to see him and finding him near death, she could not hold back her tears. “Don’t cry, mamma”, he told her, “we shall meet again in paradise.” Despite his illness, Pio spent his time immersed in contemplation of God and singing hymns to the Virgin Mary.
Shortly before his death, he offered the total gift of himself. He prayed to the Lord, “I offer my life for the Church, for the Pope, for my Congregation, for the conversion of sinners and for my beloved Romagna”. The life of Pio Campidelli was marked by simplicity and recollection. He achieved holiness in everyday life. His life was a hymn sung with notes that were accessible to everyone. He died on 2 November 1889. On 17 November 1985, the International Year of Youth, Pope St. John Paul II declared him blessed and proposed him to everyone, especially to young people, as a model of generosity, simplicity and exceptional spiritual life.
Blessed Eugene Bossilkov was born in Belene (Bulgaria) on 16 November 1900. He studied with the Passionists first in Bulgaria and then in Belgium and Holland. On 29 April, he made his First Profession of Vows, and on 25 July 1926, he was ordained a priest. He attended the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, graduating in 1932. When he returned to his country, he served as a pastor in Russe and in Bardarski Gheran. In 1947, he was consecrated bishop and was named the ordinary of the diocese of Nicopoli.
He was a highly educated man characterized by intense prayer. He was a famous orator and a priest of extraordinary interior depth and purity of spirit. He was well known and highly esteemed in Bulgaria as well as abroad. In his pastoral activity, Blessed Eugene was very innovative. He gave great care to the religious formation of youth, who in turn loved and respected him. In parishes, he initiated male and female sports activities and enhanced liturgical life. He organized catechetical programs, including premarital preparation programs. He was attentive to the sick and the elderly, as well as the poor. He founded cultural centers for reading, watching films and for recreation.