Pius Joseph Hadrian was born on the Blue Nile in Sudan or Ethiopia and, having been brought as a slave to Cairo, he was freed by Fr. Olivieri, aged six or seven, in 1853 and taken to Italy. There he was baptized and put in a college. When he asked to join the Benedictins, he had his novitiate and religious profession at Subiaco and was ordained a priest there on June 16, 1872. Meanwhile his health was weak and he was advised to return to his native country. As soon as Bishop Comboni knew this, he asked that Fr. Pius join his clergy in Khartoum. Concession was given to leave the Benedictine order and in June 1873 Fr. Pius was in El Obeid, where he died two months later on August 17, 1873.
This article, received in 2005, is reprinted with permission from Sudanese Catholic Clergy, © copyright 1997 by Fr. V. Dellagiacoma (Provincial Comboni House, Khartoum, Sudan).