Saint of the Day – 22 August – Blessed Timoteo da Monticchio OFM (1444-1503) Priest and Friar of the Franciscan Order,he ws endowed with mystical gifts, especially of the Blessed Virgin and of St Francis of Assisi – born in 1444 in Monticchio, L’Aquila and died on 22 August 1504 in the San Angelo convent in Ocra, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy of natural causes. He was distinguished for his austerity of life, his visions and his fervour of prayer. His body is incorrupt.
Blessed Timoteo was born in 1444 in Monticchio, therefore, in a period of great affirmation of the Franciscan Order, so much so, that in the same L’Aquila, not far away, the reformer St Bernardine of Siena, the great Franciscan preacher, preached and lived.
He was born into a peasant family and while growing up poor, he was completely absorbed by the spirit of prayer. As a young man he entered the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, where he studied and was Ordained a Priest.
After his Ordination he was sent to Campli in the province of Teramo as the Master of Novices. His life was a succession of mystical phenomena – he had frequent visions of the Blessed Virgin and the holy founder Francis of Assisi. It was said that Timoteo’s life was more celestial than earthly.
He faithfully adhered to the spirit of those Franciscan saints, who restored observance in the Order, such as the aforementioned St Bernardine of Siena, St Giacomo della Marca, St John da Capestrano and the Blessed Bernardino da Fossa.
From Campli, he was transferred to the small Convent of St Angelo d’Ocre, here too, he led a life interwoven with prayer and contemplation, becoming for his brothers an example of the active and contemplative Priesthood and of heroic fidelity to the Franciscan Rule.
He died holy in the latter convent on 22 August 1504. For his reputation for holiness, already known in life and continued after his death, in the lands of Abruzzo, especially in the Aquila and Teramo area, he was given a cult of blessed, which continued uninterruptedly over the centuries, until on 10 March 1870, his Beatification was confirmed by Pope Pius IX. His feast is celebrated today, 22 August.