Valerio Giuseppe Benvenuto Anzino was born in the Piemonte town of Fubine, Italy on September 6, 1832. At the age of 16, Valerio joined the Pallottines in Torino. Shortly thereafter he was appointed by Vittorio Emmanuel II, then King of Sardinia, to a position working with Valerio’s uncle, Monsignor Giuseppe Anzino, in helping the poor in Torino. Valerio, being very intelligent and ambitious, soon was promoted to positions with even greater responsibilities. At the age of 18, he was tutoring the Princes of the House of Savoy in religion and philosophy. He wrote a book at the age of 33 about Vittorio Emmanuel II’s son, Prince Oddone, Duca di Monferrato. Valerio accompanied Vittorio Emmanuel II to the battlefields in the Italian Wars for Unification, (Risorgimento), and was appointed Chaplain to the King around 1865.
Valerio became embroiled in a huge controversy surrounding the death of Vittorio Emmanuel II on January 9, 1878. The debate concerned what the King said or didn’t say on his deathbed regarding the Unification of Italy and the resulting transfer of sovereign power in the Papal States from the Catholic Church to the new government in the period from 1861 to 1870. While the Wars for Unification had ended in the 1860s, the Catholic Church refused to sign a formal peace treaty with the government and held on to hopes that they would somehow return to power in the Papal States. Valerio spent many years after the kings death fighting stories coming from the Vatican and elsewhere that were at odds with what he heard and saw at the kings deathbed. Valerio spent the last 20 years of his life trying unsuccessfully to broker a formal peace treaty between the Vatican and the Italian government. Valerio died on March 5, 1899 at Via del Sudario 47 in Roma and his funeral was attended by King Umberto I, Umberto’s wife, Queen Margherita, members of the Savoy Court and others from all over Europe. Valerio is buried in the Anzino Family vault in Mazze, Italy about 75 KM from Fubine.

Valerio Anzino in the late 1870s