Saint of the Day – 28 September – Blessed Francesco Piani of Caldarola OFM (1424-1507) Franciscan Friar, renowned Preacher and Peacemaker, a collaborator in the fight against usury by the institution of the “Mount of Piety,” (a type of pawn shop), social activist and protector of the struggling rural communties. Born in 1424 in Caldarola, Macerata, Italy and died on 12 September 1507 in the Franciscan convent in Colfano, Italy of natural causes, aged 77.
Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494), propagator and Founder of the “Monti di Pietà, Mount of Piety” and whose Feast Day we celebrate today too, had as collaborator Blessed Francesco of Caldarola.
Francesco came from the Marche, a region with a predominantly agricultural economy, and was, therefore, well aware of the miseries of the rural workers forced to go into debt and become slaves of usurers and dedicated his life to them.
Francisco was also a very fervent preacher, who knew how to quell the frequent quarrels in the countries of his land, divided by violent struggles, between ambitious factions and powerful families.
The secret of the peace Preacher’s success was simple – talk to the people by day and spend the night in prayer.
The establishment of the apostolate brotherhood of Santa Maria del Monte was also due to Blessed Francesco, the image below is of this Title of the Blessed Virgin Mother and perhaps one of the devotees is our Blessed.
The Blessed died on 12 September 1507 at the age of 77 in the Convent of Colfano, where he had spent most of his religious life.
After he died, numerous miracles were reported by his intercession and his cult is documented since 1511.
Blessed Francesco Piani precedes the Caldarolese Renaissance. While the closure of the Middle Ages can be attributed to him, we think that the opening of social care can also be entrusted to him. His fundamental works are born from the Franciscan lineage to which he belonged which, in him in Caldarola, was strengthened with three creations that were partly lost in future centuries and partly changed – the Compagnia di Santa Maria, an apostolate brotherhood of disciplines from which they derive the others, the hospital and the pawnshop. All the works of great sociality to be framed in the context of the faith and poverty of his time.
Preacher and Peacemaker, he was Beatified by Pope Urban VII in 1634 – his cult was reaffirmed on 1 September 1843 by Pope Gregory XVI.. Perhaps without his work, which gave social consistency to the community, Caldarola would not have generated its own renaissance.