Joseph Freinademetz (1852-1908) was born in Oies, a village in the Val Badía valley, in South Tyrol. He was not important enough in the eyes of the world for his name to be mentioned in civil or ecclesiastical history books. However, he had an extraordinary personality.
He grew up in the simple and closed environment of the Ladino minority, but, before turning thirty, he left his land forever to immerse himself in Chinese culture.
An openness to cultures other than his own had characterized Joseph Freinademetz from his childhood. Thus, he has left us an example of interculturality that makes him an illustrious point of reference at the beginning of the third millennium, a time when tensions between peoples of diverse cultures multiply and explode not only in Europe but all around the world.
This monograph is inspired by the biography of Joseph Freinademetz written by historian Fritz Bornemann SVD, based on “contemporary testimonies”. The author of this material testifies to his amazement that many people of all ages make pilgrimages to his birthplace in Oies to pray and meditate. It is extraordinary that many people find in this holy place what man, in the words of Joseph Freinademetz himself, needs the most: “As the plant needs the earth to nourish itself and live, so the soul needs prayer!”
Joseph Freinademetz, literally left everything to serve people of a different culture. And after his death he became a blessing for the people of his native land. Now today, in a similar way, many discover in Joseph Freinademetz a true model of a life given for the mission
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