Galantini, Hippolytus, Bl.

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Founder of the secular Institute of Christian Doctrine; b. Florence, Oct. 12, 1565; d. there March 20, 1619. The son of a silk weaver, Filippo Galantini (Galanti), he supported himself by this trade and remained a layman all his life. Although cured of a severe illness, he lacked health to enter the cloister; he decided at the age of 12 to devote himself to the service of God. Archbishop Alessandro de'Medici, recognizing his spiritual gifts, permitted him to use the church of S. Lucia al Prato to instruct children. Four years later Galantini established a confraternity for the religious education of poor children. Opposition, based on want of money and his own lack of secular education, delayed his plan until 1602. His work and his zeal came to the attention of clement viii, who ordered that an oratory dedicated to St. Francis and St. Lucy should be built for his use. There at the age of 37, Galantini founded the Institute of Christian Doctrine and composed the rule for his associates. His own reputation for holiness and the ascetic spirit of his followers won for members of the institute the title "Vanchetoni" (unworldly ones). The practice of nocturnal adoration may be traced back to his use of this devotion to keep youth from dangerous entertainment. The Franciscans consider him as one of their tertiaries. He saw his work spread through northern Italy before he died of a painful illness. He was beatified by leo xii in 1825.

Feast: March 20.

Bibliography: d. a. marsella, De beato Hippolyto Galantinio (Rome 1826). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:650.

[g. m. gray]