Blessed John Mazzucconi was born on March 1, 1826 at Rancio di Lecco in the diocese of Milan, Italy. Ordained a priest in 1850, he was one of the first members of the Seminary for the Foreign Missions, which was established that same year and which was to become known as Pime, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. He left for Oceania (now called Papua New Guinea) with the first missionary expedition of the new Institute. Assigned to the mission of Rook (present Umboi in the Diocese of Alotao), he encountered strong opposition to the message of the Gospel, especially on the part of certain members of the population. He was killed for the faith on the island of Woodlark in September, 1855, and beatified by John Paul II on February 19, 1984.