Posted in INCORRUPTIBLES

Saint of the Day – 2 September – Blessed Antonio Franco (1585-1626)

Saint of the Day – 2 September – Blessed Antonio Franco (1585-1626) aged 41 – Monsignor, Priest, penitent, ascetic – born 26 September 1585 in Naples, Italy and died 2 September 1626 in Santa Lucia del Mela, Messina, Italy.   Patronage – Santa Lucia del Mela.   His body is incorrupt.Beato_Franco_santa_lucia

Bl Antonio was born in 1585 in Naples to a noble family of French origins.   He was born as the third of six children to Orlando Franco and Francesca Pisana di Antonio.    He studied theology and obtained a doctorate in civil and canon law on 23 September 1602 and he later pursued further studies at the behest of his father in Rome.  He then moved to Madrid to serve at the royal court at the insistence of his parents.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1610 and he was requested by King Philip III to be a member of his court.   On 14 January 1611 he was named a royal chaplain and Bl Antonio was later appointed as the major chaplain of the Kingdom of Sicily in 1616.  With that appointment came the Prelature of Santa Lucia del Mela.   His appointment was confirmed by Pope Paul V.   He was formally installed in 1617.bl antonio

Franco was regarded as a man of extreme holiness who deprived himself of the pleasures in life.   He didn’t eat much and he slept on the floor.   He wore two chains all the time.   He died at the age of 41 due to his penances and his remains are incorrupt.  He is buried in the Basilica of Santa Lucia del Mela.bl antonio franco - Simulacro_contenente_il_corpo_incorrotto_Mons

The cause of Beatification for Franco commenced on 11 April 1984 under St Pope John Paul II with the declaration of “nihil obstat” – this stated there were no objections to the commencement of the cause.   That meant he could be made a Servant of God.   Pope Benedict XVI declared him to have lived a life of heroic virtue and proclaimed him to be Venerable on 14 January 2011.   He later approved a decree ratifying the existence of a miracle on 20 December 2012 leading to his Beatification.

He was Beatified on 2 September 2013 by Pope Francis.   Beatification recognition celebrated in the Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Santa Lucia del Mela, Messina, Italy, presided over by Cardinal Angelo Amato.

bl antonio franco relics
The body of the Blessed Antonio Franco coming back to Saint Lucia del Mela on 15 September 2013, after the beatification ceremony that took place in the Cathedral of Messina

Beato_Antonio_Franco

 

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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