Franciscan Saints

Saint Joseph of Cupertino 1603 - 1663

Joseph of Cupertino was born in 1603. Uneducated and with limited intellectual abilities, Joseph desired with all his heart to become a friar. After an unsuccessful attempt to join the Capuchin Franciscans, Joseph's uncle, a Conventual Franciscan, convinced the community to give his nephew a chance. Joseph worked diligently at his studies for priesthood with little apparent academic success. However, when he faced his professors for the required examinations, he received the special grace of only being asked the few questions he could answer.

After ordination, the love that Joseph expressed for Christ's real presence in the Eucharist, and for the Blessed Virgin Mary, caused him to levitate in ecstasy. The fame of this "flying friar" quickly spread and soon he became a counselor and confessor to many humble folk and nobility.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino died at the age of 60 in 1663. He was canonized a saint in 1767 and was later named the "patron of students taking exams," and the patron saint of aviators.

Saint Bonaventure1217 - 1274

Born in the Italian town of Bagnoregio in 1217, Bonaventure's life became entwined with St. Francis of Assisi when he was gravely ill as a small child. Bonaventure's mother pleaded insistently for St. Francis' intercession to save her son. Years after his miraculous recovery, Bonaventure joined the followers of Francis and became a Friar Minor.

Even before he entered the Order, Bonaventure was noted for his extraordinary intelligence and he was an eager student of the brilliant Franciscan theologian Alexander of Hales. First as a student and then as a professor, Bonaventure made a lasting contribution to the academic excellence of the University of Paris. As a spiritual master, he taught a method of contemplation that united the believer to God through the progressive stages of purgation, illumination, and union. At the age of 36, Bonaventure was elected the Minister General of the Franciscan Order.

He was challenged with the task of re-organizing a community that had grown tremendously, and whose mission was lacking a clear focus. Over a period of seventeen years, Bonaventure instituted necessary structures and disciplines that indeed stabilized the brotherhood. At the same time, he authored several mystical treatises and Franciscan source documents that are foundational for both Franciscan spirituality and medieval theological development.

Saint Bonaventure died as a cardinal in 1274. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1482, the 300th anniversary of Saint Francis' birth.

Saint Anthony of Padua 1195 - 1231

After entering religious life with the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, a keen desire for martyrdom prompted Anthony to join the Friars Minor in 1221. In 1223, Saint Francis himself appointed Anthony to be the very first professor of theology for the friars. This entrustment by the founder of the community permanently placed the Franciscan Order into the heart of theological and academic development.

Beyond his illustrious academic achievements, Anthony was renowned as a popular preacher and is credited with preserving the faith of countless Christians in a time of widespread heresy. Anthony's famous sermons were accompanied by a genuine concern for the plight of the poor. He zealously fought against injustice and advocated for the needs of the helpless. Anthony's dedication to others reached a supernatural dimension through the numerous miracles attributed to his powerful intercession.

Saint Anthony of Padua died in 1231 at the age of 36 and was canonized the following year. Pope Pius XII named him Doctor of the Church in 1946.

Saint Francis Anthony Fasani 1681 - 1742

Born and raised in southern Italy, Francis Anthony was a pious and reserved youth who joined the Order at age 14. During the novitiate year he befriended a gregarious novice named Antonio Lucci who told him that "the fastest way to become a saint was through laughter." These two young friars remained friends and witnessed the importance of close fraternal bonds in the sanctification of self and the world..

Francis Anthony served the community as a theology and philosophy professor, a novice master, and as a minister provincial. He was also a tireless confessor and minister of compassion among prisoners and those condemned to death. Known as "Padre Maestro" among the people of Lucera, Francis Anthony was especially dedicated to his work among the poor and destitute. Likewise, his friend Antonio was called the "Father of the Poor" when he served as the Franciscan bishop of Bovino..

Saint Francis Anthony Fasani died in 1742 and was canonized in 1984. His friend Blessed Antonio Lucci died in 1752 and was beatified in 1989..

Saint Clare of Assisi 1193 - 1253

Clare was born in 1193 to the wealthiest and most powerful family in Assisi. Yet she longed for more than earthly riches. She spent most of her youth serving the needs of others and giving food to the poor. By the age of sixteen, Clare knew that she wanted to become the bride of Christ. She shared her longing for holiness with Francis di Bernardone, who has recently given up his frivolous ways and had embraced a life of Gospel simplicity.

For two years Clare was counseled by Francis. Then, on Palm Sunday in her eighteenth year, Clare left her family home forever and joined the poor men of Assisi. Francis greeted her at the chapel of the St. Mary of the Angels and Clare consecrated herself to the Lord.
Soon other women came to join Clare in her desire to live the poverty of Christ. A community of sisters formed at the tiny sanctuary of San Damiano, where Clare remained in contemplation and service until her death in 1253 at the age of 60. The community continued to grow and many new monasteries of "Poor Clares" have been established throughout the world.

Saint Clare of Assisi was canonized two years after her death. In 1958, she was named by Pope Pius XII as the "patroness of television" in honor of a particular vision that she had one Christmas Eve.

God Dwells In Our Midst,
In The Blessed Sacrament
Of The Altar.

Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self..


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