St. Francis Caracciolo


Feast Day - June 4

Francis, originally called Ascanio, came from the noble family of the Caracciolo, in the city of Santa Maria della Villa in the Abruzzi. During a severe illness in his youth, he resolved to give himself up completely to the service of God and neighbor. He went to Naples and was ordained priest, after which he devoted himself wholly to contemplation and the winning of souls; and he was always on hand to comfort prisoners condemned to death.

By a wonderful disposition of God, he joined with John Augustini Adorno and Fabrizio Caracciolo in founding the Order of Minor Clerks Regular, adding to the three usual vows another: not to seek dignities. After the death of Adorno, Francis ruled the Order in a most holy way, and with the greatest zeal promoted it throughout Spain and Italy. He burned with such love for the Most Blessed Sacrament that he would spend almost the whole night in adoring It; and he established adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a practice to be kept forever in his Order — its touchstone.

He was enriched with the gifts of prophecy and the reading of hearts. At length, in his forty-fourth year, he was taken with a deadly fever in the town of Agnone, in the Abruzzi, and fell asleep in the Lord on June 4, 1608. His holy body was taken to Naples and buried in the church of his Order.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1848-1849.