blessed angelo of furci

Blessed Angelo of Furci was known for his holiness, zeal for uprightness, gentleness of spirit, and fervent charity.

Blessed Angelo of Furci.In Furci, a pretty little village near Vasto, in the Province of Chieti, there lived a married couple, Adalitto and Albazia. Though rich and religious, they were sad because they were advanced in years and did not yet have a son who might gladden their old age.

Wise in their distress, they sought the Lord’s favor by passing their days in continual prayer, fasting, and mortification, and pleading with the divine Majesty through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel to whom they were very devoted. They even went on pilgrimage to Gargano, the ancient and famous sanctuary of the unconquered archangel, and prayed there with confidence. In time the desire of the parents was crowned by the birth of a little boy to whom they gave the name Angelo. The year was 1246.

As a little child, Angelo was entrusted to the care of a maternal uncle, the abbot of a nearby Benedictine monastery, Cornaclano. Under the guidance of his uncle, Angelo very successfully developed the good dispositions present in his noble and sensitive soul.

At that abbey Angelo studied literature and philosophy, proving himself to be a young man of alert mind and great promise. At the age of eighteen he lost his uncle and returned to his home. In his native place Angelo quickly became known and esteemed as a youth of excellent gifts.

When the blessed youth had been home for a year, his father fell fatally ill. He called his son to his bedside and told him about his birth and God’s intervention. The father also mentioned the fact that Angelo might wish to become an Augustinian.

Angelo chose to enter the Augustinians. He wanted to carry out this decision immediately, but his dying father held him back. After the death of his father, Angelo, a young man of strong and serene character, endured his loss and supported the elderly Albazia in her sorrow.

When a year had passed since his father’s death, Angelo gave what he had to the poor and said a moving farewell to his elderly mother and his relatives and friends. He urged them to have a heartfelt love for one another, and said that he would betake himself in the direction of Vasto, without knowing where he would end up, but trusting in the help of Saint Michael the Archangel and of the great Father, Saint Augustine. The first building he came upon after hours of walking was precisely the monastery of Saint Augustine.

Angelo asked to join the Augustinians. He was admitted as a novice in 1266, at twenty years of age. He made his religious vows and then spent four years in the study of theology. After completing his theological studies, he was ordained a priest and was sent to Paris, where the most promising young men were assigned.

Father Angelo, who was now about twenty-five, arrived in Paris in 1271. In Paris he met Blessed Giles of Rome, a renowned professor of the Order of Saint Augustine, who became his teacher. Giles was filled with admiration for the young friar. Father Angelo stayed in this city for five years, until 1276. With the degree of lector, he returned to Abruzzi in order to teach theology there.

We do not know in which convent Angelo taught; it seems, however, that he remained in his province for about eight years. When Blessed Clement of Osimo was once again elected prior general of the Order in 1284, he came to Naples to preside at the provincial chapter in the monastery of Saint Augustine. The prior general, knowing the reputation of the learned and holy teacher, chose him to be first lector in the chair of theology at Saint Augustine’s in Naples.

When the capitular fathers of the provincial chapter held between 1288 and 1291 were unanimous in electing Father Angelo of Furci as prior provincial, the latter humbly refused, for he thought himself unworthy to govern. But Blessed Clement required him to accept. He obeyed and showed by his deeds that he was no less capable of successfully governing than of successfully teaching.
When Angelo reached the age of 81 in 1327, he fell ill and had to cease from his labors. He died on 6 February 1327 in the monastery of Saint Augustine in Naples.

His feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 6 February.