(1563 – 1608)
Francis founded the Order of Minor Clerks Regular with St. John Augustine Adorno. The congregation’s apostolate was preaching missions and performing diverse works of charity. In the course of time he became known as “Venerable Father, the Preacher of the Love of God,” a title merited for promoting devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and introducing nocturnal adoration in his community. He had a childlike love for the Blessed Virgin; his greatest joy was to be of service to his neighbor. God endowed him with the gift of prophecy and the discernment of spirits.
At the age of forty-four, while praying one day in the church at Loretto, he recognized that his end was near. Immediately he went to the monastery of Agnona in the Abruzzi, and exclaimed as he entered, “This is my final resting place.” Shortly after, he was stricken with fever, received the last sacraments with deepest fervor, and quietly fell asleep in the Lord.
The Church selects our saint’s zeal for prayer and his spirit of penance for emphasis in today’s Collect, and proposes these two virtues for imitation. “In imitating him grant that we may make such progress that we may pray without ceasing and constantly have our bodies under subjection.” This is not an easy task; the liturgy, therefore, provides the needed assistance, the example of St. Francis, and the holy Eucharist.
Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch via Catholic Culture.
Patron: Naples, Italy; Italian cooks.
For More Information on St. Francis Caracciolo , see: EWTN, The Catholic Encyclopedia, American Catholic, and The Magnificat.
Image via Adorno Fathers — Clerics Regular Minor.