November 27th - St. Francis Anthony Fasani, priest, O.F.M.
- From: "Traudel" <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:12:04 -0600
November 27th - St. Francis Anthony Fasani, priest, O.F.M.
A study of the life of Fr. Francis Anthony Fasani shows clearly that his
was directed toward God in a singular manner from his very infancy, thanks
the Christian education received from his parents and to the workings of the
grace of a religious and priestly vocation upon his soul. He was born in
on August 6, 1681, the son of Giuseppe Fasani and Isabella Della Monaca. His
parents had the joy of seeing their "Giovanniello" (this was the name they
him at Baptism) grow up endowed with promising moral and intellectual gifts.
began his studies at the Franciscan friary of the Friars Minor Conventual at
Lucera; there Giovanniello's understanding of his vocation became clearer--a
vocation to which he gave himself with generous enthusiasm. He entered the
of Friars Minor Conventual and took the names of Saints Francis and Anthony,
thus expressing his fervent desire to follow their example by consecrating
himself to an evangelical and apostolic life. Professing his vows in 1696,
young Friar Francis Anthony completed his liberal arts studies and followed
his philosophical studies in the seminaries of his religious province.
Thereafter, he began theological studies in Agnone and continued them in the
General Study Centre at Assisi near the tomb of St. Francis. It was there
Francis Anthony was ordained to the priesthood in 1705 and there, too, that
completed his theological studies in 1707.
His application to his studies, carried out with diligence and with a lively
desire to assimilate the salvific value of the mysteries of faith, made him
"profound in philosophy and learned in theology." The Venerable Antonio
bishop of Bovino, attests to this in the canonical hearings investigating
Fasani's holiness. Bishop Lucci was a fellow student of his and imitated him
the exercise of religious virtue. At the same time, by means of an intense
spiritual formation aided by enlightened spiritual masters, Francis Anthony
progressed in a life of union with God, patterning himself on the Lord
religious consecration and the priestly charism.
From 1707 until his death he continued to live at Lucera for thirty-fiveyears,
always giving splendid witness to the gospel life and zealous pastoral
For this reason he was admired by the faithful of Lucera and all of Daunia
Molise. Within his Franciscan Order he fulfilled offices of special
responsibility. He was a respected teacher of scholastic philosophy and a
revered master of novices and the professed, making notable contributions to
spiritual and doctrinal formation of his confreres. In 1709 he received a
graduate degree in theology and from that time on Fr. Fasani was known to
"Padre Maestro" ("Father Master"), a title which is still attributed to him
today in Lucera. He exercised the offices of local superior and minister
provincial with charity and wisdom, demonstrating that he was an effective
animator of the religious life of the brethren.
The spiritual life of Fr. Fasani was characterized by those virtues that
him like his Seraphic Father St. Francis. In fact, it was said in Lucera:
"Whoever wants to see how St. Francis looked while he was alive should come
see Padre Maestro." In imitation of St. Francis he built his religious life
the basis of a generous participation in the mysteries of Christ through the
most faithful practice of the evangelical counsels, which he considered to
radical expression of perfect charity. In his constant prayers, inflamed
seraphic love, he called out to God, saying to Him: "O Highest Love, Immense
Love, Eternal Love, Infinite Love."
His fervent devotion to the Immaculate Mother of the Lord was nourished by
intense dedication to knowing ever better "who Mary is" and making her known
others, while at the same time knowing and making known the maternal role
entrusted to her in the history of salvation with faith and love.
In exercising this evangelical mission Fr. Fasani gave himself devotedly
the very moment of his priestly ordination, to such an extent that a witness
could assert: "He allowed himself no rest in the salvation of souls." His
pastoral ministry shows that he was involved zealously in many fields and
of the apostolate according to the needs of the particular Churches in which
The ministry of preaching the word of God assumed a special role in his
apostolic life. He preached popular missions, retreats, Lenten devotions and
novenas almost constantly-at Lucera and wherever he was called. The duty
falls to all priests "to invite all people to conversion and holiness" (PO,
was carried out by Fr. Fasani through a type of preaching based on the
scriptures that was well prepared, persuasive, and had the particular
as one witness recalled, "of rooting out vices and sins and planting in
place goodness and the exercise of virtue."
As a worthy ministry of "the one who uninterruptedly exercises his priestly
mission for us in the Liturgy through the Spirit" (PO, 5), Fr. Fasani
himself with zeal-especially the administration of the sacrament of Penance
the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. "He heard the confession of every
person," asserted a witness, "with the greatest patience and kindness on his
face". He was charitable and welcoming to all, giving as his reason the hope
being able one day to say to the Lord: "I was indulgent, I don't deny it;
was You who taught me to be so."
The most holy Eucharist was the summit of his religious life and wholly
represented the goal toward which be ordered his entire priestly ministry.
fact, he always considered the Eucharist "the source and summit of
evangelization," and that the faithful were "fully incorporated into the
Christ through the Eucharist" (PO, 5). A fervent minister of the Eucharist,
Fasani celebrated the sacrifice of the Mass with an intense ardor that
and nourished his spirit while at the same time it edified all who were
In his preaching he inculcated in the faithful the love of the Eucharist,
promoting even daily communion.
The poor, the sick, and the imprisoned held a privileged place in his
activities. Motivated by his ideal of gospel charity ("We must be
he loved to pray with the poor and for them. Every day he personally
to the poor the alms of his religious community and very often he gave them
well gifts and special goods gathered from benefactors. Oftentimes his
obtained extraordinary interventions of divine Providence for the poor. He
visited and comforted the sick, exhorting them to seek reasons for hope and
resignation in the goodness of God. The spiritual care of the imprisoned, an
apostolate given him by the bishop of Lucera, permitted him to visit them
and to exhort them to trust in the merciful love of God. He was given the
responsibility of assisting those condemned to death in their last moments.
When Fr. Fasani was taken by his final illness in 1742, he wanted to offer
the Lord in a spirit of perfect joy, with that same expression with which he
always offered God all the actions of his life: "The Will of God: that is my
Paradise." On November 2 of the same year, comforted by the holy sacraments
the protection of the Immaculate Virgin Mary for which he prayed, Fr.
Anthony Fasani returned his soul to God in the friary of the city where he
born and where, for thirty-five years, he showed himself a faithful witness
Christ. His body was interred in the adjoining church of St. Francis, after
funeral rites in which all of Lucera participated with the cry: "Our holy
Maestro has died!"
The fame of the sanctity that surrounded Fr. Fasani in life witnessed an
extraordinary increase after his death. Thus, already in 1746 the bishop of
Lucera decided to institute proceedings to investigate the holiness of life,
virtues and the miracles of this Servant of God. There followed the
Cause of particular virtues and the decree on the heroicity of his virtues
promulgated by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII on June 21, 1891. His Holiness,
Pius XII, having approved two miracles attributed to the intercession of
Venerable Fasani, raised him to the honor of the altars on April 15, 1951.
A new miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Francis Anthony was
approved with the decree of March 21, 1985, by the Holy Father, John Paul II
canonized on April 13, 1986.
This Version Taken From:
What has a person to fear who lives in the arms and bosom of God?
-St. Paul of the Cross
Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. (James
Saint Anthony, Example of Humility
Dear St. Anthony, after all these years in the school of Christ,
I still haven't learned the lesson of true humility. My feelings
are easily ruffled. Quick to take offense, I am slow to forgive.
St. Anthony, Example of Humility, teach me the importance
and necessity of this Christian virtue. In the presence of
Jesus, who humbled Himself and whom the Father exalted,
remember also these special intentions of mine.
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