Blessed Thomas Fusco was born to a noble family in Pagani, Italy, in 1831. He was the seventh of eight children. When he was only six, his mother died. His father died a few years later, and his uncle, a primary school teacher, took charge of Thomas’ education.
When St. Alphonsus Liguori was canonized in 1839, Thomas was inspired to join the priesthood. In 1847, he entered the seminary, and was ordained in 1855.
Immediately after his ordination, Thomas opened a morning school for the formation of young boys, and organized evening prayers for young adults. He was deeply devoted to the crucified Christ and to his Blessed Sorrowful Mother, because of the deaths of his uncle and his younger brother.
In 1862, Thomas opened a school of moral theology in his home, training priests for the ministry of confession. He also founded the priestly Society of the Catholic Apostolate for missions among the faithful.
Moved by the plight of an orphaned girl living on the streets, Thomas founded the Congregation of the “Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood” in 1873. He spent the rest of his life dedicated to these ministries, preaching spiritual retreats and missions, teaching catechism, and organizing prayer for young people and adults at his parish. He brought many to the devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.
In 1891, Thomas died of liver disease at the age of 59. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001, who called him “an example and a guide to holiness for priests, for the people of God, and for his spiritual daughters, the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood.”