Blessed Angelus of Acri

Capuchin Priest

Blessed Angelus was born on October 19th 1669 at Acri, a little town in Calabria, Italy. Luke Anthony were his Christian names. That Luke Anthony had been graced with many blessings from the good Lord was evident from his earliest years when his greatest love was to pray in solitude with God. As he grew older, he wondered what he should do with his life. With the passing of time and constant prayer, the call of Christ gradually became clear and persistent.

At eighteen (1687), Luke Anthony asked to be admitted and was received into the Capuchin Order as a postulant.  Due to trickery of the Devil, he left the Order twice, but entered for good on November 12th, 1690 to begin his Novitiate. Throughout the entire year the novice was tormented by his tireless enemy, the devil. His 'weapons' in the fight were his devotion to the hours of the passion and his love of the crucified Christ.

Following his novitiate, he grew in holiness due to his complete giving of his self in prayer and to the application of his keen intellect to his philosophical and theological studies. After his ordination in 1702, he began preaching.

At first he spent days preparing, perfecting and rehearsing his sermons, but since, when preaching the spirit was not with him, he stumbled and was lost for words, hearing the voice of God he discarded books and writing, his holy preparation for preaching became the reading of Scripture and contemplation of the crucified Christ. Often he met with jeers and criticisms, but endowed with the reading of hearts and consciences he brought back to the Church many, even those who ridiculed him. He always fostered devotion to Christ crucified and he was a keen promoter of Mary's Immaculate Conception.

Other points of interest concerning Angelus were:

    * he founded a convent of Capuchinesses in Acritania and he was their confessor for many years;

    * every year, at the beginning of June, Angelus returned to the friary to remain in silence and solitude until the following November;

    * his poverty was extreme, he only had the bare necessities;

    * in the last six months of his life, he became totally blind, but each day he received his sight back to celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

On October 30th 1739, Angelus died as he softly repeated over and over "Oh how good it is to love God!" "Come good Jesus come!"

His feast is celebrated on October 30th.