Franco Lippi, Bl.
FRANCO LIPPI, BL.
Carmelite lay brother; b. Grotti, near Siena, Italy, Dec. 3, 1211; d. Siena, Dec. 11, 1291. After a scandalous life as a condottiere, he was blinded in battle at the age of 50 and vowed to change his life and go on at pilgrimage to santiago de compostela if cured. St. James answered his prayers, and his sight was restored. After visiting Rome, he returned to Siena to take up the penitential life of a hermit, which he continued when he later became a carmelite lay brother. Living in a little cell close to the chapel of Our Lady, he overcame various temptations of the devil and was comforted by appearances of Our Lord and Our Lady. He was said to have enjoyed also the gift of prophecy. His body was exhumed 50 years after death, and part of his relics were taken to Cremona, while the remainder are still venerated in the Carmelite church in Siena. His cult was approved by Pope clement v in 1308, and he has been in Carmelite liturgy since 1672. Many 17th-century confraternities, especially in Spain, were dedicated in his honor. He should not be confused with another Sienese Francis, the Blessed Servite Francesco of Siena (d. 1328), as is done in G. Lombardelli's La Vita del b. Franco Sensese da Grotti (Siena 1590).
Feast: Dec. 11.
Bibliography: "Catalogus sanctorum ordinis carmelitarum," in b. m. xibertay roqueta, De visione Sancti Simonis Stock (Rome 1950) 284, 294, 305, 312.
[e. r. carroll]