The Stigmatines, officially named the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata (Latin: Congregatio a Sanctis Stigmatibus), is a Catholic clerical religious congregation of Pontifical Right for men (Priests and Brothers). The Stigmatine Congregation was founded on November 4, 1816 by Gaspar Bertoni, in Verona, Italy.[1] Its members use the post-nominals C.S.S..

Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata
Congregatio a Sanctis Stigmatibus (Latin)
AbbreviationPost-nominal letters: C.S.S.
FormationNovember 4, 1816; 207 years ago (1816-11-04)
FounderSaint Fr. Gaspar Louis Bertoni, C.S.S.
Founded atVerona, Italy
TypeClerical Religious Congregation of Pontifical Right for men
HeadquartersGeneral Motherhouse
Via Mazzarino 16, Rome, Italy
413 members (316 priests) as of 2020
Latin: Euntes Docete
English: Go forth and teach
Superior General
Fr. Silvano Nicoletto, C.S.S.
Parish work
Patron saints
Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint Joseph
Parent organization
Roman Catholic Church



The first written constitutions for the congregation were based on the constitutions of the Society of Jesus, a religious order founded by Ignatius of Loyola. Like the Jesuits, the congregation was intended as a missionary and educational ministry.[2] The church where the Stigmatines were founded in Verona, Italy, was dedicated to the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi, from which the original title of the Community came. The patrons of the Stigmatine Congregation are the Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph. The community's patronal feast is January 23, the Espousals of Mary and Joseph.

The growth of the community was slow. In 1905, the Stigmatines went to the United States in 1907,[3] and in 1910, they started activities in Brazil. For nearly two centuries, the Stigmatines worked in China, Thailand, the Philippines and various countries in Africa and Latin America.

In 2002, the Stigmatines settled in India.

In June 2018, the city council of Waltham, Massachusetts, voted to take the 46 acres owned by the Stigmatines by eminent domain, for the purpose of building a new high school.[4] The site includes the Espousal Retreat Center, a conference center, and a retirement home for priests. Mayor Jeannette McCarthy stated that the property is valued at $25.4 million; the city is offering $18 million.[5] A statement on the Stigmatines' website states, "No one is doubting or discounting the need for a new high school in Waltham. We just don't believe the City should be able to end our existence here in Waltham because it covets our land for its own use."[6] In December 2019, the parties resolved their dispute by the city council agreeing to pay a total of $29 million for the site.[7]

In the Philippines, on 8 September 2021, Jessie Avenido (30 years old), Jestonie Avenido (29 years old) and Jerson Rey Avenido (28 years old), three brothers, members of the congregation, were ordained priests by archbishop Jose Cabantan in the Cathedral of Cagayan de Oro.[8][9][10]



In 2012, they had 94 houses with 422 members, including 331 priests.

Stigmatine Apostolates

  • the instruction of the Youth
  • the preaching of retreats and popular missions
  • the assistance in clergy formation

Fathers General

  • Peter Vignola
  • Very Rev. John B. Tomasi
  • Andrea Meschi (2000—present)


  1. ^ Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata
  2. ^ 124977Eder,Manfred, “Stigmatines”, Religion Past and Present. 2011ISBN 9789004146662[dead link]
  3. ^ Henchey CSS, Joseph. "Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers: An apostolic mission of deferential service", The Pilot, June 12, 2015
  4. ^ Fisher, Jenna. "Waltham City Council Votes To Take Stigmatine Property For HS", Waltham Patch, June 28, 2018
  5. ^ Tetrault, Jacqueline. "Stigmatines vow to challenge Waltham's eminent domain seizure", The Pilot, August 16, 2018
  6. ^ "Urgent Matter", Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata
  7. ^ "Waltham To Pay Stigmatines $11M More For Future School Property". Waltham, MA Patch. 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  8. ^ "Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippines".
  9. ^ "Avenido brothers encourage potential seminarians: Give it a try – Manila Bulletin". Manila Bulletin.
  10. ^ "Blessed Family: These 3 Siblings Get Ordained as Priests on Mama Mary's Birthday". 10 September 2021.