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Lawrence of Villamagna, Bl.

LAWRENCE OF VILLAMAGNA, BL.

Franciscan preacher; b. Villamagna, Abruzzi, Italy, May 15, 1476; d. Ortona, Italy, June 6, 1535. He belonged to the noble family of the Mascoli whose members occupied positions of importance in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies during the 15th and 16th centuries. While still very young he overcame the violent objections of his father and entered the Franciscan Order at the Friary of Our Lady of Grace in Ortona. In the course of his theological training he showed himself a brilliant student. After his ordination he specialized in preaching, which occupied most of his remaining years. He preached with remarkable success in almost every city in Italy. His impassioned eloquence drew large crowds wherever he spoke, and he was generally acknowledged as one of the masters of sacred eloquence of his time. Several miracles were attributed to him during his life. He became ill while preaching the Lenten course at Ortona in 1535, died soon after, and was buried in the friary church there. The veneration tendered him by the faithful was confirmed by pius xi in 1923.

Feast: June 9.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum 15 (1923) 170173. Acta Ordinis Fratrum Minorum 25 (1906) 127130. g. d'agostino, Vita del B. Lorenzo da Villamagna (Lanciano 1923).

[c. j. lynch]

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