The Roots

The Family

In the 18th Century, the Rubino-Gazzera family enjoyed the esteem and respect of everyone in La Morra (Cuneo) and this, owing to the moral and intellectual rectitude of Giovanni Michele and his wife Maria Teresa. From their union 6 children were born, 2 of which were to join the priesthood, Angelo and Giovani Battista. The father (1742-1816)



Mother Maria Teresa Gazzera Brother don Angelo Don Giovanni Battista

The Town: La Morra

At the time of the Servant of God's birth, the town of La Morra numbered 3,600 inhabitants. Situated on a pretty hill affording, on one side, a wide angle on the Langhe Hills, and on the other, towards the Asti farmlands, a sweeping view of the Alps, the municipality is spread over a broad territory. In the second half of the 18th Century, the area was animated by an active and advanced population, one from which many illustrious ecclesiastical and civil figures emerged. In our present day, the territory of La Morra is part of the Province of Cuneo and belongs to the dioceses of Alba; but not so in the past. In fact, in 1631, the city of Alba, in ancient times Alba Pompeia, had been elevated by Amedeo I, Duke of Savoy, to provincial capital. Napoleon's troops first occupied La Morra on the 24th of April, 1796. The town was returned to the Savoy house in the following June, after the administration of Cherasco. Occupied once again by the French, after the abdication of the King Carlo Emmanuele IV, exiled in Sardinia in 1798, it was liberated along with the rest of the Piedmont region in the spring of 1799 by the Austro-Russians and the patriots. The following year, the royal states passed a third time under Napoleonic governance (June 14, 1800) which lasted until 1814. The Bishopric of Alba is very old and has a long and glorious history (cf. Doc. IV, 1). In June of 1803 it was suppressed and attached to the diocese of Asti, only to be re-established on July the 20th, 1817. In the 18th Century throughout all of Piedmont, religious sentiment was widely present and, though in the cities it was possible to find forms of indifference, in the country parishes the faith was thriving, thanks also to the diligent work of the clergy. Generally speaking, harmony reigned in the towns; the families were characterized by moral integrity and an authentic concern for imparting a deeply religious upbringing to their children.