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Biography of Rev. Father Paul M. Ponziglione

Rev. Father Paul M. Ponziglione, one of the most famous Catholic missionaries of Southern Kansas and what was, in his time, Indian Territory –particularly among the Osage Indians of the Southwest–was born in Piedmont, Italy, February 11, 1818. He was of noble descent on both sides of the house, but, as he was wont to express it, his greatest pride was that he belonged to “the noble family of Adam,” His education was obtained in several Jesuit institutions of Italy, the College of Nobles at Turin conferring upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts. But the pomp of the Italian court had no fascinations for young Paul, and in 1839 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Chieri, near Turin. The year 1848 found him connected with the Jesuit College in Genoz and during the revolution of that year, with other priests, he was transported to Sardinis and serionsly wounded by a mob. He finally escaped to Modena, and soon after, under holy orders, embarked from Havre for New York. The general of the Jesuit Socisty had already assigned him to missionary work in Missouri. Father Pouziglione spent two years in Missouri and Kentucky, engaged in missionary work, and in March, 1851, accompanied by Bishop Miege, left St. Louis for his far western mission. While his home was to be at Osage Mission, and his particular charge, the Osages, his labors extended from Fremont Peak, Wyoming, to Fort Sill, Indian Territory. During the first twenty years of Father Paul’s life among the Osages they remained in Southeastern Kansas. The particular scope of his work extended...

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