Tag Archives: Santa Maria Assunta Church

The cat who brings gifts to his person's tomb

Toldo2Toldo, the faithful cat

Italian companion animals appear to be a spiritually-evolved breed. 😀
Last Sunday, I posted about Tommy the dog who attends daily Mass in Santa Maria Assunta Church, San Donaci, in memory of his beloved departed person, Maria Margherita Lochi.
Today, I bring you the story of Toldo, a cat in Montagnana, in northern Italy, who daily brings little presents to his late master’s grave.

montagnana-from_castello_san_zenoTown of Montagnana as viewed from Castello di San Zeno

As reported by Agence France-Presse on January 4, 2013, the story of a cat named Toldo who visits his master’s tomb and brings him little presents on an almost daily basis a year after the man’s death has moved the inhabitants of Montagnana, a mountain village in Italy.
Renzo Iozzelli’s widow Ada told AFP on Friday from Montagnana that Toldo “brings little twigs, leaves, toothpicks, plastic cups. A bit of everything really. Sometimes he comes with me and sometimes he goes on his own. The whole town knows about him now!”

Toldo, a grey-and-white three-year-old tomcat, followed Iozzelli’s funeral procession last year and has continued going to the cemetery ever since, a habit usually ascribed to dogs.
Ada said: “He loved my husband. It was something else! Now it’s just me, my daughter and my son-in-law and he’s very affectionate with us too.” But the journey to and from the cemetery each day had tired Toldo out in the cold winter weather. “He’s not going out so much these days. He’s caught a bit of bronchitis so he’s sleeping next to me.”


According to the Corriere Fiorentino, Iozzelli Renzo had died on September 22, 2011, aged 71. At his funeral, Toldo followed the coffin from the house to the cemetery.
The next morning, Ada went to the grave again: “We went to the cemetery with my daughter and found a sprig of acacia on the grave. I immediately thought that it was the cat, but my daughter was convinced that I was just in a very emotional state at that moment.”
That night, however, Renzo’s son returned to the cemetery and found Toldo standing guard at the grave, reported Dreuz.info.
Ada says that her late husband shared a particularly strong bond with Toldo, having adopted Toldo from a stray cat colony when he was just 3 months old. “My husband was very affectionate with him. Renzo loved animals. It’s almost as if Toldo would be grateful. He is a special cat, one can not help liking him. ”
But not everyone believes in the sanctity of the relationship between Toldo and his owner. Ada told La Nazione that people often try to shoo the cat away: “There are insensitive people who send him away with stones or other things, convinced that the presence of an animal in the cemetery is almost a desecration.”
Still, Toldo remains undaunted and continues to visit the grave everyday.

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Heartbroken dog goes to church for daily Mass, like dead owner

In San Donaci on the southeastern shore of Italy, Tommy faithfully goes to Mass every day at Santa Maria Assunta Church.

Tommy is a 7-year-old German Shepherd.

As recounted by Nick Pisa for the Daily Mail, Jan. 16, 2013, Tommy’s owner Maria Margherita Lochi, 57, had found the dog abandoned in some fields close to her home. Lochi had rescued several strays over the years, but she developed a special bond with Tommy.

Every day, Lochi and Tommy would walk to church from their home. The priest would allow the dog to come in and sit at his mistress’ feet during Mass.

Two months ago, Lochi passed away. A funeral service was held, attended by human mourners and Tommy. Since then, the German Shepherd has been a regular at the church every day, arriving on time when the bells ring out to mark the start of services.

Father Donato Panna, who recently lost his own dog, said about Tommy: ”He’s there every time I celebrate Mass and is very well behaved – he doesn’t make a sound, I’ve not heard one bark from him in all the time he has been coming in.
He used to come to Mass with Maria and he was obviously devoted to her – I let him stay inside as he was always so well behaved and none of the other parishoners ever complained to me. He’s still coming to Mass even after Maria’s funeral, he waits patiently by the side of the altar and just sits there quietly. I didn’t have the heart to throw him out – I’ve just recently lost my own dog so I leave him there until Mass finishes and then I let him out. Tommy’s been adopted by everyone in the village now and he is everybody’s friend. Everyone looks out for him and leaves food for him – although it would be nice to find a proper home for him.”

Can’t something be done about finding a permanent home for this faithful dog? If Tommy were in the United States, there would be HUNDREDS of people wanting to adopt him.

Here’s the contact info for Santa Maria Assunta Church in San Donaci, Italy:

Parrocchia S. Maria Assunta
1 Via Fabio Filzi
San Donaci, BR 72025
Phone: +39 0831 635104

Please say a prayer for Tommy, one of God’s little creatures, that he finds a kind and loving permanent home.

H/t Spirit Daily and FOTM’s igor


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