Today is the Feast Day of the second canonized saint of the Piarist Order, and here is the church and museum in Italy dedicated to him. Domenico Pirrotti was born in Montecalvo, Italy on September 29, 1710, the sixth of the eleven children of Jerome and Donna Pirrotti.  His father was a lawyer and was of the noble class.  At the age of 16, he left home and joined the Piarist fathers in Benevento, where on February 2, 1727, he took the religious habit of the Piarists and professed the four religious vows made by all Piarists:  poverty, chastity, obedience, and the education of youth.  At the same time, he changed his name to Pompilio Maria.

He was sent to Chieti to study philosophy, but he became ill and was transferred to Melfi to finish his studies.  Before his priestly ordination, he was sent to Turi for a year to teach religion and then to Lecce to teach literature.  He was ordained on March 20, 1734 by the Archbishop of Brindisi.  For the next ten years, he traveled throughout Italy preaching and hearing confessions. 

The Lord gave him extraordinary gifts.  In 1746, while he was in Lanciano, he rang the church bells at two in the morning and people flocked alarmed.  He told them that they had to pray to Mary to save their town from an impending earthquake.  The people did as he instructed, and a powerful earthquake struck the Abruzzo region causing severe damage, but Lanciano was spared.

During the famine of 1765, he had the people of Campi Salentina also pray to Our Blessed Mother, and the famine never struck the village.  Even today in this city every year on July 15, the day of his feast, they distribute blessed bread baskets in memory of his protection.

He lived during a time when Jansenism and anticlericalism were growing in popularity, and many Catholics had stopped receiving the Eucharist, but St. Pompilio emphasized the importance of receiving it frequently along with spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, which served as the focus of his preaching and spiritual direction.  From this sprang complaints and accusations, resulting in his abrupt departure from Lanciano in 1747.

He spent the next eleven and a half years in Naples spreading the same devotions, and he founded there a confraternity called the Charity of God, which had as its purpose praying for the dead and practicing the Sacraments of Christian virtues, especially the reception of daily Communion. In 1765, he wrote a Novena to the Sacred Heart which spread rapidly throughout the Kingdom of Naples.

He was accused of being too lenient in giving penances, and he was expelled from Naples.  For the next six years, he travelled from community to community, preaching and hearing confessions, and during this time he experienced atrocious physical suffering.  Finally, he was invited to live in the Piarist community at Campi Salentino by a pious Sacred Heart group.  There, he reorganized the schools and made sure that education was available to all children and not just those from wealthy families, and he intensified the religious life of the inhabitants. 

After celebrating Mass on Sunday, July 13, 1766, he became ill while hearing confessions.  He was brought to his bedroom and died there two days later at the age of 56, while reciting the first vespers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.  He was beatified in 1890 by Pope Leo XIII and was proclaimed a saint on March 19, 1934 by Pope Pius XI.  His remains are preserved and venerated by the faithful in the Piarist church in Campi Salentina.