Franciscan Priest (1251-ca. 1322)
+ Francis Venimbeni was born in Fabriano in the Marche region of Italy. He was a devout and intelligent child and he learned Latin at an early age.
+ At the age of sixteen, Francis joined the Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans) and gained a reputation for his holiness and learning. At the end of his novitiate he traveled to Assisi to visit the shrine of the Portiuncula and there met Brother Leo, the close friend and companion of Saint Francis of Assisi.
+ Assigned as Guardian (superior) of a new friary in Fabriano, Francis oversaw construction of a new library, the first Franciscan library.
+ Francis was convinced that the Franciscans had a special vocation to teach sound doctrine and he promoted learning within the Order. A gifted scholar, he wrote a number of spiritual writings, although few of his writings have survived.
+ Blessed Francis of Fabriano was beatified in 1775.
Blessed Francis had a great devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and would often offer Mass for them. A pen-and-ink drawing entitled “Blessed Francis Venimbeni Celebrates Mass for the souls in Purgatory” (by Guiseppe Cades ) is part of the collection of the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art
“If he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.”—2 Maccabees 12:44-46
O God, who called blessed Francis to seek your Kingdom in this world through the pursuit of perfect charity, grant, we pray, through his intercession that we may advance with joyful spirit along the way of love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Religious)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.