Biography of Giuseppe Toniolo
7th March 1845 Treviso - 7th October 1918 Pisa

He graduated in Jurisprudence in Padova in 1867 and from 1872 onwards, he remained in the same Ateneo as an assitant. He later moved to Venice, then to Modena and finally to Pisa where he held the post of lecturer, until his death.

In 1878, he married Maria Schiratti and they had seven children. His family was a living example of affection and prayer, a family which was familiar with the Word of God.

He started interesting himself in the Opera dei Congressi. In the prevalent culture of his time, he committed himself  to ensure that catholics made themselves felt in society. At that time Catholics started setting up associations with this aim in view.

On the 29th June 1867, the Italian Catholic Youth Society was set up. This was the first nucleus of the Italian Catholic Action. After a short break, due to the Liberation of Rome in 1870, in September 1875, during the II General Congress of Italian Catholics, the Opera dei Congressi e dei Comitati cattolici was set up with Giovanni Acquaderni as its founder and President and Count Mario Fani as Catholic Action's founder and President.

Following the example of these Organisations,  on the 29th December 1889, the Unione cattolica per gli studi sociali (Catholic Union for Social Studies) was set up in Padova. Its President and Founder was Giuseppe Toniolo who, in 1893, established the "Rivista internazionale di scienze sociali e discipline ausiliarie" (International Review of social sciences and related disciplines). Toniolo elaborates his sociological theory which affirms the prevalence of ethics and of the Christian spirit over the harsh economy laws. In his numerous writings, he suggests different innovations: the festive holidays, the control of working hours, the defence of small businesses and the protection of women and children at the place of work. From a religious point of view, he supports a deeper infiltration by Catholics in the social field. As from 1894, he became one of the animators of the "Christian Democratic Movement". He defended the economic-social value of religion, thus reconciling faith and science. In 1908, he published the Social Economy Treaty. He was always faithful to the Church in the way he carried our his duties as a family man and as a professional and was greatly esteemed by the popes of his time. Preoccupied by the war which was going on, he drafted a statute of an  international law of peace which he entrusted to the Pope. He died on the day dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, whom he used to invoke every day. His remains lie buried in the Church of the Assumption in Pieve di Soligo. In Pisa, his house is still intact and bears witness to his holy and committed life. He spent his life in Veneto and Tuscany, but, as can be said in very few cases, he did not belong to this or that diocese but to the whole of Catholic Italy.

He was declared Venerable on the 14th June 1971.