Aloysius Dominic Scrosoppi (always known as Luigi) was born on the 4th of August 1804 in Udine,a city in the region of Friuli in the north of Italy. He grew up in a family atmosphere of faith and Christian charity. At twelve years of age he began preparing for the priesthood at the Udine diocesan seminary, and was ordained in 1827. At his side were his two brothers Charles and John Baptist, both of them also priests.
The wretchedly poor conditions during the 1800s in a Friuli devastated by famine, wars and pestilence were for Luigi an invitation to care for those most in need. With other priests and a group of young teachers he dedicated himself to gathering together and educating poor and abandoned girls from Udine and the surrounding countryside. To them he devoted all his material possessions, his energies and his affection. He did not spare himself, and when the situation called for it he went around begging; he relied on people's help, and above all, trusted in the Lord. In fact his whole life bears witness to his great trust in Divine Providence. Regarding the works of charity in which he was engaged, he wrote: "The providence of God, who prepares minds and hearts to undertake His works, was alone the foundation of this Institute... that loving tender Providence that never deserts those who trust in Him". He lost no opportunity in fostering this confidence in the girls he gathered together and in the young women devoted to their education. They came to be called "school mistresses" because they were skilled in sewing and embroidery but were also able to teach "reading, writing and arithmetic" as they used to say. They were women of different ages and backgrounds, and in each of them there matured the decision to place their lives in the hands of the Lord and to consecrate themselves to Him, serving Him in the family of the "outcast". On the evening of the 1st of February 1837, as a sign of their definitive decision, nine women put aside their possessions and chose to live their total dedication to Him in poverty. In this simple manner the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence, the religious family founded by Father Luigi, came into being. Others came to join the first group. Some were rich, others poor, some educated, others illiterate, some from the nobility, others of humble origins. In the house of Providence there was room for all and all become sisters.
The founder encouraged them to make sacrifices and urged them to take affectionate care of the girls, whom they were to regard as the "apple of their eyes". He said to them: "More than anything else, these daughters of the poor need to be educated in affection and to learn all that is necessary to live an honest life". And once again: "The weariness, persevering effort, constant work and the tiresome attention needed to assist and teach them should not cause you discouragement because you know you are doing all this for Jesus".
In the meantime, Luigi was reflecting on the need to make a more total consecration to the Lord. He was attracted by the ideal of poverty and universal brotherhood of St Francis of Assisi, but the events of his own life and of history led him to follow in the footsteps of St Philip Neri, the singer of joy and freedom, the saint of prayer, humility and pastoral charity. Luigi followed his "Oratorian" vocation in 1846, and at the mature age of 42 he became a son of St Philip. From him he learned that meekness and tenderhearted spirit which would make him ever more suited to the task of founder and father of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence.
Showing great regard and concern for the human development of the Sisters and their growth in holiness, he spared neither help, nor advice nor encouragement. He carefully watched over their vocation, putting their faith to the test so that they might grow strong. He condemned vanity, the desire to be noticed, and could be severe when he saw attitudes of hypocrisy and superficiality. Yet what paternal tenderness he showed in the face of frailty and the need to be understood, supported and consoled!
Gradually Father Luigi took on the fundamental traits of a spiritual life centred on Jesus Christ, loved and imitated in the humility and poverty of his incarnation in Bethlehem, in the simplicity of his working life at Nazareth, in his total immolation on the cross on Calvary, and in the silence of the Eucharist. And since Jesus had said: "Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me", it is to them that every day Father Luigi devoted his life with the practical commitment to "seek first the kingdom of God and his justice" convinced that all the rest will be given according to the gospel promise.
All the works he set in motion during his life reflect this preferential option for the poorest, the lowliest, the abandoned. "I shall open twelve houses" - he prophesied - "before I die" and so it was. Twelve houses in which the Sisters of Providence devote themselves to a service that is humble, enterprising and joyful on behalf of young girls left helpless, of the poor, the sick and neglected, of the elderly left alone.
At the same time, however, deeply committed to doing good, Father Luigi did not limit himself to his own works, in which the Sisters collaborated with generous people ever ready to give them a helping hand. He willingly gave his spiritual and material assistance to other initiatives undertaken in Udine by people of good will. He supported all the activities of the Church and showed particular concern for the young men in the Udine seminary, especially the poorest of them.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the different regions of Italy were being united. The political and military aspects of this unification resulted in a particularly difficult period for Udine and the whole of Friuli, which is on the frontier and at the cross roads between the north and south of Europe and between east and west. One of the consequences of the unification, which unfortunately took place in a climate of anticlericalism, was a decree suppressing the "House of the Orphans" and the Congregation of the Oratorian Fathers in Udine.
Father Luigi thus began a difficult struggle to save his work on behalf of the orphans. In this he succeeded, but he could do nothing to prevent the suppression of the Congregation of the Oratory. The unhappy political situation led to the destruction of the material structures of the Congregation of the Oratory in Udine but it did not succeed in preventing Father Luigi from remaining to the end a faithful disciple of St Philip.
Now an old man, but with his habitual openness of spirit, he understood that the time had come to hand over the reins to the Sisters, and this he did with tranquility and hope. At the same time he maintained contact with them all through his letters in which he strengthened the ties of affection and love, and in his paternal concern never tired of recommending community spirit and trust.
Through his deep union with God and his experience over many years Father Luigi had acquired a special spiritual wisdom and intuition which enabled him to read hearts: sometimes he even revealed the gift of knowledge about secret inner thoughts and situations which were known only to the person concerned.
At the end of 1883, as his strength began to decline, he was forced to give up all work, and he constantly suffered from a high fever. The illness took its inexorable course. He refold the Sisters not to be afraid "because it was God who raised up their religious family and made it grow and He it is who will see to its future".
When he knew the end was near, he wished to greet everyone. So he wrote his last words to the Sisters: "After my death, your Congregation will have many troubles, but afterwards it will have a new life. Charity! Charity! This is the spirit of your religious family: to save souls and to save them with Charity".
During the night of Thursday, the 3rd of April 1884, he finallywent to meet Jesus. The whole of Udine and the people of the surrounding countryside hastened to see him one last time and to beg his protection from heaven.
Through his efforts on behalf of the little ones, of the poor, of young people in difficulty, of those who are suffering, of all those living in trying circumstances, Father Luigi still continues today to show everyone the path of union with God, of compassion and of love, and is still ready to accompany the steps of those who entrust themselves to the Providence of God.
The likelihood of this last wish being respected was always remote. Miraculous cures through Luigi’s intercession were reported within days of the Saint’s death – one was the restoration to health of a dying child. Interestingly, the miracle which has secured the canonisation is in the same line as the earliest one recorded.
It happened in 1996, when Peter Changu Shitima, a young catechist from Zambia, was at home, dying from AIDS, a disease now endemic in many parts of Africa. Doctors had decided that nothing more could be done for the young man. One witness said: 'He could scarcely lift his legs, and had developed a serious case of peripheral neuritis. He could not stay in bed without help. He was a terminal AIDS patient and nothing could be done.' Peter’s parish began to pray to Blessed Luigi for him, as he was his favourite figure, one with whose charism he especially identified. On the night of October 9th, 1996, Peter dreamed of Luigi, and the following morning he woke up feeling completely better. One of the doctors involved in the case, Dr Pete de Toit, has said: 'I sent him home because he was a terminal patient, and he returned brimming with health.' The doctors agreed that there was no medical explanation for the cure, and the Pope recognised that what had happened was indeed a miracle. The necessary documents were signed by the Pope on July 1st, 2000, allowing the canonisation to proceed.
Canonisation: It should be added that Peter Changu is now a member of the Oratory of S. Philip at Oudtshoorn, South Africa, where he is studying to be a priest. He was present at the ceremony in Rome on June 10th, 2001. F. Paul Chavasse and B. Thomas Murphy represented the Birmingham Oratory at this important event.
St. Luigi’s feast will henceforth be kept on October 5th each year.
Weight 87 kg. (191.4 lbs.) Career Playing position Defender
Youth 1979–1985 SV Spielberg 1985–1990 Germania Friedrichstal 1990–1991 Karlsruher Senior 1991–1996 Karlsruher 1996–2006 Bayer Leverkusen 2006 Dinamo Zagreb National Team 1994–1996 Germany (U-21) 1997–2006 Germany
Story of His Career
Jens Nowotny (born January 11, 1974 in Malsch) is a retired German footballer, who played as a central defender.
Played in nearly 300 official games with Bayer Leverkusen in one full decade, helping it reach the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final. Internationally, he appeared for Germany in one FIFA World Cup and two UEFA European Football Championships, gaining nearly 50 caps.
Club career Germany
After playing youth football for two clubs, Nowotny finished his formation with Karlsruher SC. He made his first team - and first division - on 2 May 1992, playing the entire 1–0 win at Hamburger SV, and finished the season, in the starting eleven, as the club collected three wins in four matches (three goals conceded) and finished in eighth position.
Still not in his 20's, Nowotny became a defensive mainstay for Karlsruher. On April 10, 1993, he netted a brace for the club in only ten minutes, in a 2–2 draw at VfL Bochum, and went on to collect nearly 150 official appearances during his spell, including four in the 1993–94 UEFA Cup.
Aged 22, Nowotny signed for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, making his league debut on August 21, 1996, a 3–1 away success against MSV Duisburg. A undisputed first-choice from the start, he appeared in 32 matches in his first season, as the club finished in second place, trailing FC Bayern Munich by two points; he continued to appear regularly during his stay, often forming an efficient defensive partnership with Carsten Ramelow.
On October 30, 1998, Nowotny scored his first league goal for Leverkusen, in a 8–2 home demolition of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Additionally, he appeared in 16 games in the club's 2001–02 UEFA Champions League runner-up run; however, he was greatly missed in the following season's league campaign, only appearing once as the club finished in 15th position, narrowly escaping relegation, and having the fourth-worse defensive record in the league, at 56 goals conceded.
On September 28, 2004, Nowotny scored his first and only Champions League goal, in Bayer's 4–2 defeat at FC Dynamo Kyiv. He left the club in the 2006 summer, with more than 300 official appearances in 10 years.
On July 18, 2006, 32-year old Nowotny agreed to sign a three-year contract with Croatian League champions NK Dinamo Zagreb. He made his debut for Dinamo on July 29, against NK Slaven Belupo, in the first domestic league match of 2006–07, and also appeared in the club's Champions League qualifying round against Arsenal - the English had tried to sign him in the past- a 0–3 home defeat.
On August 19, 2006, Nowotny got injured during Dinamo's home match against NK Međimurje, a 4–1 win. Even though he was not fully healed and had played all 90 minutes for Germany in a friendly match only three days earlier, he asked to play because his wife and children came to Zagreb to watch him. Coach Josip Kuže, as he later admitted, had his doubts about Nowotny's decision to play; he also had thoughts to substitute him by the end of the match, but changed his mind because of the fans, who had accepted Nowotny with acclamation. After the match, his injury became more serious, and needed surgery, and a one-month layoff (he missed both legs of the side's 2–5 aggregate loss against AJ Auxerre, for the UEFA Cup).
Eventually, on 22 January 2007, Nowotny announced his retirement from football, not being able to fully recover. He said: "To think I may have to wait another 10 months through physiotherapy and returning to training - this is enough.", said the 33-year-old.
Nowotny made his debut for the German national team on April 30, 1997, in a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ukraine played in Bremen, replacing striker Fredi Bobic after 15 minutes.
He was subsequently part of the squads at two UEFA European Football Championships, 2000 and 2004, totalling five appearances in two group stage exits; he missed the 2002 World Cup due to a serious injury.
Nowotny was then picked for the 2006 World Cup in his country, after two years of absence from international football. However, the experienced stopper spent the whole tournament as backup to younger Christoph Metzelder and Per Mertesacker, only playing in the third-place play-off against Portugal (3–1 win), as stand-in for the injured Mertesacker. In total he won 48 caps Germany, scoring his only goal in a friendly match, a 7–0 victory over Malta on May 27, 2004.
Honours Club - UEFA Champions League: Runner-up 2001–02 - German Cup: Runner-up 2001–02
A Farewell Tribute for JENS NOWOTNY as a Footballer
JENS NOWOTNY, Forever
EURO 2008 - Calli trifft... Jens Nowotny
Abschiedsspiel Jens Nowotny in Karlsruhe
The Life of JENS NOWOTNY as Footballer
Jens NOWOTNY defense skills
Die Traumelf von Jens Nowotny
Interview Jens Nowotny, Tag der Legenden 2011