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Don Gaetano Tantalo was born in Villavallelonga on February 3, 1905 under parents Luciano and Maria. The day after he was baptised.


He received his first Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation on September 29, 1912.


He was seriously hurt under the ruins of the school which had collapsed because of the great earthquake on January 13, 1915 in Villavallelonga.


He entered the regional seminary of Chieti in November of 1923. It has been noted by Don Gaetano's professors and school mates that he was distinguished for his exceptional gift of learning and for his exemplary conduct.


He was made a Deacon by the Bishop of Avezzano, Monsignor Bagnoli on August 3, 1930. Seven days later, on August 10, he was ordained a Priest. Don Gaetano Tantalo celebrated his first mass on August 15 in Villavallelonga. He was made an Associate Pastor in the parish of Saint Giovanni . In October of the same year, was made a Professor in the Diocesan Seminary.


He became the Parish Priest of Antrosano and then a short while later, became Parish Priest of Tagliacozzo and remained at the church of Saint Peter the Apostle there for the rest of his life.


He saves a Jewish family from Rome being persecuted because of racist laws. Don Gaetano Tantalo treats them with respect and affection. (The State of Israel has planted a tree in Israel in his honour)


He offers himself voluntarily to the German authorities who, during World War II, wanted to raid Villavallelonga and punish its inhabitants for suspected partisan activities.


At the age of 42, on November 13, 1947, Don Gaetano Tantalo died from an illness. He was buried at the cemetery in Villavallelonga.


His body was exhumed on August 28, 1980 and now lies at rest in the Church at Villavallelonga.


Monsignor Biagio Vittorio Terrinoni begins the process of canonisation and beatification of Don Gaetano Tantalo.


On December 15, 1994, there was a positive and unanimous outcome from theologians at the offices of the congregation of the causes of the saints on his heroic virtues.


On April 6, 1995, a decree was published in the presence of the Holy Father by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. On this day, the Pope declared Don Gaetano Tantalo Venerable.

A Servant of God is a person whose Cause has officially begun. When the Holy Father agrees that they lived a life of Heroic Virtue they are called Venerable. With the acceptance of a miracle, and following the Rite of Beatification, they are called Blessed. With a second miracle and the Rite of Canonization they are called Saint.

The decrees presented to the Pope can be viewed at the following link http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/ccsdecre.htm. Scroll to April 6, 1995 to see Don Gaetano Tantalo's name along with the other Servants of God.

Sebastiano Tantalo
Toronto, Canada
Home Page: www.villavallelonga.com
eMail: villavallelonga@rogers.com

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