Francis Caracciolo

Francis Caracciolo (October 13, 1563 – June 4, 1608), born Ascanio Pisquizio, was an Italian Catholic priest who co-founded the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Minor with John Augustine Adorno.[1] He decided to adopt a religious life at the age of 22.

Saint Francis Caracciolo
Saint Francis Caracciolo
Saint Francis Caracciolo
BornOctober 13, 1563
Villa Santa Maria, Province of Chieti, Region of Abruzzo, Kingdom of Naples (modern-day Italy)
DiedJune 4, 1608 (aged 44)
Agnone, Province of Isernia, Region of Molise, Kingdom of Italy
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
BeatifiedJune 4, 1769, Rome by Pope Clement XIV
CanonizedMay 24, 1807, Rome by Pope Pius VII
Major shrineChurch of Santa Maria di Monteverginella, Naples
FeastJune 4
PatronageNaples (Italy), Italian cooks

Early life and career

St Francis Caracciolo was born in Villa Santa Maria in the Abruzzo region, in the Kingdom of Naples. He belonged to the Pisquizio branch of the Caracciolo family and received in baptism the name of Ascanio. From a young age, he had a reputation for gentleness and uprightness.[2] When he was 22, he was attacked by one of the several skin complaints collectively described as "leprosy" in those days. So serious was this attack that he was considered hopeless. With death so near, he made a vow that if he regained his health, he would spend the rest of his life in the service of God and his fellow men. He recovered so quickly after this vow, that his cure was considered miraculous.[2] Eager to fulfil his promise to God, he went to Naples to study for the priesthood. In 1587 he was ordained priest and joined the confraternity of the Bianchi della Giustizia (The White Robes of Justice), whose object was to assist condemned criminals to die holy deaths.

Congregation of Minor Clerics Regular (Adorno Fathers)

Five years after he went to Naples, a letter from Venerable Fr. Giovanni Agostino Adorno of Genoa to another Caracciolo, Fabrizio, begging him to take part in founding a new religious institute, was delivered by mistake to the newly ordained priest, and he saw in this circumstance an assurance of the Divine Will towards him (1588). He assisted in drawing up rules for the new congregation, which was approved by Pope Sixtus V, July 1, 1588, and confirmed by Pope Gregory XIV on February 18, 1591, and reconfirmed by Pope Clement VIII on June 1, 1592.[2]

The institute founded thereby, named the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Minor (the "Adorno Fathers"), is both contemplative and active. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the pillars of their life.[3] To the three usual vows a fourth is added, namely, that its members must not aspire to ecclesiastical dignities outside the order nor seek them within it. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is kept up by rotation, and self-mortification is practised. The motto of the order "Ad majorem Resurgentis gloriam" ("to the greater glory of the Risen One") was chosen because Francis and Augustine Adorno made their profession at Naples on Low Sunday, April 9, 1589. Upon making his profession, Caracciolo took the name Francis in honor of the saint of Assisi.[3]

The new Congregation of the Clerics Regular Minor thus established was one of considerable severity. The Clerics bound themselves to various practices of daily penance. It was decided that each day one brother should fast on bread and water, another would take the discipline, and a third would wear the hair shirt. Later (under the direction of St. Francis) it was further decreed that everyone should spend an hour a day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.[2]

Superior General, 1593-1601

The Order's principal founder, Giovanni Adorno, died in early 1593, and despite his refusal, Francis Caracciolo was chosen general on March 9, 1593, in the first house of the congregation in Naples, called St. Mary Major or Pietrasanta, given to the congregation by Sixtus V. Even in his capacity as superior of the Order, he insisted on sharing simple tasks: sweeping rooms, making beds, washing dishes. As a priest Francis spent many hours in the confessional. Here he was enriched with the gifts of prophecy and the reading of hearts.[4] He also begged in the streets for the poor and gave away most of his possessions to the needy.[5] But it was his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament for which St. Francis Caracciolo is most noted and remembered. Such was his love for the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, that he would spend almost the entire night in adoration.[6] The little sleep he allowed himself was often spent on one of the altar steps.[7]

He made three journeys to Spain to establish foundations under the protection of kings Philip II and Philip III. He opened the house of the Holy Ghost at Madrid on January 20, 1599, that of Our Lady of the Annunciation at Valladolid on September 9, 1601, and that of St. Joseph at Alcalá sometime in 1601, for teaching science. In Rome he obtained possession of St. Leonard's Church, which he afterwards exchanged for that of Sant'Agnese in Agone, September 18, 1598, and later he secured for the institute the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina (June 11, 1606) which was made over to him by a papal bull of Pope Paul V, (which was, however, annulled by the bull "Susceptum" of Pope Pius X, November 9, 1906).

St Francis Caracciolo was the author of "Le sette stazioni sopra la Passione di N.S. Gesù Christo" (The Seven Stations of the Passion of Our Lord, Rome, 1710). He loved the poor. Like Saint Thomas Aquinas, a relative on his mother's side, his purity was angelic, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Pope Paul V desired to confer an important bishopric on him, but he steadfastly refused it.

Latter Years, 1601-1608

Remaining general superior for seven years, Francis at last obtained permission from Pope Clement VIII to resign. The position had been a severe strain upon him, not only because of his delicate health, but also because in establishing and extending the order, he found himself and his brethren faced with opposition, misrepresentation, and sometimes by malicious calumnies.[7]

Francis was then named prior of Santa Maria Maggiore and novice-master. He carried on his apostolic work in the confessional and in the pulpit, discoursing so constantly and movingly on the divine goodness to man that he was called "The Preacher of the Love of God". We are also told that with the sign of the cross he restored health to many sick persons.[7]

In presence of his divine Lord, the face of St. Francis usually emitted brilliant rays of light; and he often bathed the ground with his tears when he prayed, according to his custom, prostrate on his face before the tabernacle, and constantly repeating from psalm 68,[8] as one devoured by internal fire,"Zelus domus tuae comedit me", "The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up." [9]

Invited by the Oratorians at Agnone, in the Molise region, to convert their house into a college for his congregation, St. Francis set out to help with the new foundation. On his way he visited Loreto, where he was granted the favor of spending the night in prayer in the chapel of the Holy House, the Basilica della Santa Casa. As he was invoking Our Lady's help on behalf of his brethren, Giovanni Adorno appeared to him in a dream or a vision, and announced his approaching death.[7] He arrived at Agnone apparently in good health, but he himself was under no illusion. On the first day of June, 1608, he was seized with a fever which rapidly increased, and he dictated a fervent letter urging the members of the society to remain faithful to the rule. On the Vigil of Corpus Christi, Wednesday, June 4, 1608, he seemed absorbed in meditation until an hour before sunset when he suddenly cried out, "Let us go, Let us go to heaven!" Scarcely had these words been uttered when his wish was realized and he passed to his reward. He was forty-four years of age.[7]


When his body was opened after death, St. Francis' heart was found as it were burnt up, and these words imprinted around it: "Zelus domus Tuæ comedit me"—"The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up."[9] St. Francis Caracciolo was beatified by Pope Clement XIV on June 4, 1769, and canonized by Pope Pius VII on May 24, 1807.[10] His liturgical feast day is June 4. In 1838 he was chosen as a patron saint of Naples, where his body lies. At first he was buried in Basilica of St. Mary Major, but his remains were afterwards translated to the church of Santa Maria di Monteverginella, which was given in exchange to the Clerics Regular Minor (1823) after their suppression at the time of the French Revolution.

St Francis is also the patron of Italian cooks.


  1. ^ Paoli, Francesco. "St. Francis Caracciolo." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 23 Jan. 2013
  2. ^ a b c d Butler, Alban, The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, Vol. V, by the Rev. Alban Butler, Virtue and Company, Limited, London, 1954.
  3. ^ a b "St. Francis Caracciolo", Catholic News Agency
  4. ^ The Roman Breviary for June 4, ed. 1963
  5. ^ Foley O.F.M., Leonard, "Saint of the Day" (rev. Pat McCloskey O.F.M.)
  6. ^ The Roman Breviary, ed. 1963
  7. ^ a b c d e Butler's Lives of the Saints, revised edition by Herbert Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater, published 1956
  8. ^ Psalm 69 in the modern, generally accepted numbering.
  9. ^ a b Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, published 1894 by Benziger Brothers.
  10. ^ Capetola C.R.M., Fr. Nicholas, "History", Adorno Fathers

External links


Year 1563 (MDLXIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


1608 (MDCVIII)

was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar, the 1608th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 608th year of the 2nd millennium, the 8th year of the 17th century, and the 9th year of the 1600s decade. As of the start of 1608, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.


Agnone is a comune in the province of Isernia, in the Molise region of southern Italy. Agnone is known for the manufacturing of bells by the Marinelli Bell Foundry. It is some 53 kilometres (33 mi) northwest of Campobasso. The town of Agnone proper is complemented with other populated centers like Fontesambuco, Villa Canale and Rigaini.

Clerics Regular Minor

The Clerics Regular Minor, commonly known as the Adorno Fathers, is a Roman Catholic religious order of priests and brothers founded by Saint Francis Caracciolo, Augustine Adorno, and Fabrizio Caracciolo in 1588 at Villa Santa Maria, Abruzzo. Belonging to the family of Clerics Regular, its members desired to sanctify themselves and the People of God by imitating in their lives the Paschal Mystery of Christ.

Its motto is Ad Maiorem Dei Resurgentis Gloriam, "For the Greater Glory of the Risen God". The post-nominal letters are C.R.M.

Eucharistic adoration

Eucharistic adoration is a Eucharistic practice in the Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic and some Lutheran traditions, in which the Blessed Sacrament is adored by the faithful. This practice may occur either when the Eucharist is exposed, or when it is not publicly viewable because it is reserved in a place such as a church tabernacle.

Adoration is a sign of devotion to and worship of Jesus Christ, who is believed by Catholics to be present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, under the appearance of the consecrated host, that is, sacramental bread. From a theological perspective, the adoration is a form of latria, based on the tenet of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Host.Christian meditation performed in the presence of the Eucharist outside Mass is called Eucharistic meditation. It has been practiced by such as Peter Julian Eymard, Jean Vianney and Thérèse of Lisieux. Authors such as the Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida and Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist have produced large volumes of text based on their Eucharistic meditations.

When the exposure and adoration of the Eucharist is constant (twenty-four hours a day), it is called perpetual adoration. In a monastery or convent, it is done by the resident monks or nuns and, in a parish, by volunteer parishioners since the 20th century. In a prayer opening the Perpetual chapel in St. Peter Basilica, Pope John Paul II prayed for a perpetual adoration chapel in every parish in the world. Pope Benedict XVI instituted perpetual adoration for the laity in each of the five sectors of the diocese of Rome.

Francesco Caracciolo

Prince Francesco Caracciolo (18 January 1752 – 30 June 1799) was an Italian admiral and revolutionist.

Francesco Manno

Francesco Manno (20 December 1754 - 18 June 1831) was an Italian painter and architect. Born at Palermo in 1754, he was originally a goldsmith, but later devoted himself to painting. In 1786 he settled at Rome, working in the studio of Francesco Preziado de la Vega. Manno became the Secretary of the Accademia di San Luca. On 13 July 1794 he became a member of the Accademia dei Virtuosi del Pantheon. Favored by Pope Pius VI, Manno was appointed Painter of the Sacred Apostolic Buildings in 1800. He died in Rome in 1831.

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List of patron saints by occupation and activity

This is a list of patron saints of occupations and activities or of groups of people with a common occupation or activity.

List of saints by pope

This article is a list of saints by the pope who canonized them.

Although popes have been canonizing saints since at least 993 and have claimed sole authority to do so since the late 12th century, it has been rare historically for any pope to canonize more than a handful of saints.

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Patron saints of Naples

The city of Naples has more than 50 official patron saints, although its principal patron is Saint Januarius. Second in terms of importance is Saint Aspren (Sant'Aspreno), first bishop of Naples.

Pope Clement XIV

Pope Clement XIV (Latin: Clemens XIV; 31 October 1705 – 22 September 1774), born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 May 1769 to his death in 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals. To date, he is the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Clement" upon his election.

He is best known for his suppression of the Society of Jesus.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Virac

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Virac (Lat: Dioecesis Viracensis) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. The Diocese of Virac, Catanduanes was established in 1974, from territory in the Diocese of Legazpi and the diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Caceres.The current bishop is Manolo Alarcon de los Santos, appointed in 1994.

Santi Angeli Custodi a Città Giardino

Santi Angeli Custodi (Holy Guardian Angels), church on Via Alpi Apuane, Rome.

Villa Santa Maria

Villa Santa Maria (locally La Vìlle) is a town and comune in the province of Chieti, in the region of Abruzzo of southern Italy.


Vinzons, officially the Municipality of Vinzons, is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Camarines Norte, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 43,485 people.The Calaguas Islands is under the jurisdiction of Vinzons.

The very first recorded name of Vinzons was Tacboan and was later changed to Indan at which time the Mayor was Pedro Barbin. The town was then renamed "Vinzons" in honor of Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, then Governor of the province. He was the youngest delegate to the Philippine Constitutional Convention of 1935, and a guerrilla leader martyred by the Japanese during World War II.

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