Pontillo, Egidio Maria di San Giuseppe, St.

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PONTILLO, EGIDIO MARIA DI SAN GIUSEPPE, ST.

Baptized Francesco Antonio, also known as Giles Mary of St. Joseph, Franciscan lay brother; b. Nov. 16, 1729, near Taranto (Apulia), Italy; d. Feb. 7, 1812, Naples. He practiced his father's trade of rope making and supported the family with this skill after his father's death (1747). Before entering the Alcantarine Franciscans at Galatone, Lecce, Italy (1754) under the impetus of an extraordinary spiritual experience, he led a very devout life and participated zealously in the activities of the Sodality of Our Lady of the Rosary. From 1759 to 1812 Egidio lived at the friary of San Paolo a Chiara in Naples, where he labored as cook, porter, and alms gatherer (quaestor ). His simplicity and serenity won him the affection of the Neapolitan sick and poor, among whom he propagated devotion to Mary and Joseph. He was beatified Feb. 5, 1888, and canonized by John Paul II at Rome, June 2, 1996.

Feast: Feb. 7.

Bibliography: p. coco, Cenni della vita del beato Egidio Maria di S. Giuseppe, taumaturgo di Taranto (Taranto 1931). m.a. habig, The Franciscan Book of Saints (Chicago 1959): 8992. v. musardo talÒ, S. Egidio Pontillo da Taranto: dalla marina tarantina a quella di Napoli (Lecce, Italy 1996). Acta ordinis minorum (1888): 7:1820.

[c. j. lynch]