Feast of St. Francis Caracciolo (June 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Southern Europe in 1550

SAINT FRANCIS CARACCIOLO (1563-1608)

Cofounder of the Minor Clerks Regular (the Adorno Fathers)

Then the king will say  those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me….In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

–Matthew 25:34, 35, 40 (The New Jerusalem Bible)

As I pondered the best way to contextualize the life of St. Francis Caracciolo, that passage came to mind.  To follow that ethic is the proper vocation of every righteous person.  The recitation of facts regarding the saint’s life constitutes commentary.  So I commence with the commentary.

The saint, born Ascenio Caracciolo, entered this world at Villa Santa Maria, Abruzzi, Italy.  At age twenty-two he suffered from a serious disease–perhaps leprosy or a skin condition.  He promised the rest of his life to God if he recovered.  The saint regained his health and began to study for the priesthood.  Ordained at Naples, he began to minister to prisoners.  In 1588 the saint and Father John Augustine Adorno, with twelve others, founded the Minor Clerks Regular, or the Adorno Fathers.  Their mission was to minister to the sick and the imprisoned.  Pope Sixtus V approved the order that year, and Adorno became the first superior of the nascent order. The order opened houses across Italy and Spain.  Then Adorno died, so Caracciolo succeeded him and continued the good work for seven years.  Then he retired to become prior of Santa Maria Maggiore and master of novices there.  The saint died at Agnone, Italy, where he had founded a new house.

That is the summary of a life which lasted for forty-five years.  It was a life of good works in the name of Jesus.  May your legacy, O reader, also be one of service to others in the name of God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 6, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF MIDDLETON STUART BARNWELL, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF GEORGIA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS EDBERT AND EADFRITH OF LINDISFARNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS EDWARD JONES AND ANTHONY MIDDLETON, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JEANNETTE RANKIN, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Saint Francis Caracciolo,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of his flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the stature and fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 718

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