The blooming lily of St. Joseph: Fr. Stramare Tarcisio, Osj

Talking about Father Tarcisio Stramare Osj is not easy, because one is afraid of not saying enough about him. He was a priest who dedicated his whole life to getting to know God, to deepen his theological studies and to relentlessly spread his knowledge with great impetus and constancy. A Josephite whose knowledge was requested by the highest ecclesiastical offices because he is certain of his truths. He was profound, cultured and committed to making his dear St. Joseph known in a renewed and deeper manner. He lived among many young seminarians who he taught and to whom he transmitted not only the deepest spiritual knowledge but also a heartfelt and participatory belonging to his Congregation of St. Joseph. Fr. Tarcisio gave a lot to the Church, he did a lot without sparing himself until the end of his days, when on 19 March 2020, the feast of St. Joseph, was tested positive for the Coronavirus and on 20 March, at 10.00 AM the Lord called him to heaven to present him the celestial prize.

He was born on 14 September, 1928, in San Vito di Valdobbiadene (Diocese of Padua, Province of Treviso), to Antonio and Susanna Vanzin. In the following year the family moved to Imperia, where the Josephite fathers were present, with whom at the age of 12 he embarked on the school and spiritual journey.

On 30 October, 1943 in Alba he entered the novitiate and made his first profession continuing his philosophical studies. In September 1947 he began teaching in a gymnasium in Frinco. He was ordained a priest on 6 July 1952, and immediately afterwards he moved to Rome to attend the Gregorian University and subsequently the Biblicum to graduate in Sacred Scripture.

In 1957 he went to Palestine at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and stayed there for a year. On his return he resumed teaching at the new Pontifical Pastoral Institute erected by Pius XII. He continued teaching Sacred Scripture until 1970 in various realities: at the Generalate of the Oblates of St. Joseph, at the Pontifical Institute “Jesus Magister”, then at the Regional Seminary “La Quercia” (Viterbo), at the Theological Faculty “Marianum” and at the Diocesan Center of Theology and Formation of the Laity at the Apostolate and at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University. His commitment was not limited to teaching. He found time to collaborate with numerous biblical and theological magazines such as “L’Osservatore Romano”. For thirteen years he was a consultant to Fr. Mariano, a well-known television lecturer. He also edited the section “Liturgia di Domani” at Vatican Radio, at Telepace and at RAI.

Pope Paul VI, in recognition of his great commitment, gifted him with a precious tapestry of the patronage of St. Joseph, which is still kept in the Parish of St. Joseph in Rome. He participated in many General Chapters of his Congregation; he was twice elected Procurator General. In his busy life two events were incisive: The Beatification of Mons. Joseph Marello of which Father Tarcisio was the Vice Postulator of the cause of Beatification and the Josephite Movement (1981) of which he was Director. To these two “just causes” he gave all his spiritual and intellectual wisdom. He went out of his way to convey their knowledge with great enthusiasm, through the press, the publication of books, the Internet and participation in all the International Symposiums on St. Joseph, of which he was the “Coordinator” for many years.

A beautiful soul, a priest of great culture and knowledge, a great theologian, he collaborated with Pope John Paul II in drafting the Encyclical “REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS”. After this work (1989) he retired to the Mother House of the Oblates of St. Joseph in Asti, while maintaining, from 1991 to 2005, teaching at the Urbaniana University. In 2013 he retired to the Mons. Marello Retirement Home in Asti with long periods of stay at the “San Giuseppe” community in Imperia, the place from which he left and where, on 20 March 2020, he ended his long and intense religious and ecclesial service. His body was buried on 24 March in the tomb of the Congregation in Asti.

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