Ugo Bassi

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Ugo Bassi (August 12, 1800 – August 8, 1849) was a Roman Catholic priest and Italian nationalist.


Bassi was born at Cento, Emilia-Romagna, and received his early education at Bologna.

An unhappy love affair induced him to become a novice in the Barnabite order when eighteen years old. He returned to Rome, where he led a life of study and devotion, and entered into his ministry in 1833. It was as a preacher that he became famous, his sermons attracting large crowds owing to their eloquence and genuine enthusiasm. He lived chiefly in Bologna, but travelled all over Italy preaching and tending the poor. He was so poor himself that he often did not have food to eat.

At the outbreak of the revolutionary movements in 1848, when Pope Pius IX still appeared to be a Liberal and an Italian nationalist. As a result, Father Bassi, filled with enthusiasm, joined General Durando's papal force to protect the frontiers as an army chaplain. His eloquence drew fresh recruits to the ranks, and he exercised great influence over the soldiers and people. When the Supreme Pontiff renounced all connection with the nationalist movement, it was only Bassi who could restrain Bolognese Liberals in their indignation.

At Treviso, where he had followed Guidotti's volunteers against the Austrians, he received three wounds, delighted to shed his blood for Italy (May 12, 1848). He was taken to Venice, and on his recovery he marched unarmed at the head of the volunteers in the fight at Mestre....
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