Tommaso da Cori, St.

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Baptized Francesco Antonio Placidi; Franciscan priest; b. Cori, Latina, Italy, June 4, 1655; d. Civitella (today Bellegra), Italy, Jan. 11, 1729. After the death of his parents when he was fourteen, Tommaso cared for his sisters and his flock of sheep in the Roman Compagna, while holding silently in his heart a desire to live totally for God through the Franciscan life. Once his sisters were married, he entered the Observant Franciscan novitiate in Holy Trinity Friary at Orvieto (1677), completed his theological studies, and was ordained priest (1683). He spent most of his life (16841729) in the friary of Civitella (today Bellegra) hidden among the mountains around Subiaco. Immediately after his ordination, he was assistant novice master at Orvieto, and for a six-year period, he was guardian at Palombara. He established hermitages at Civitella and Palombara. These were individual communities in which the Rule was observed strictly and austerely. He was renowned as a preacher, confessor, and miracle-worker throughout the Subiaco region. His entire life centered around the Eucharist. Although Tommaso was beatified in 1785, the decree for his canonization was not issued until July 2, 1999. He was canonized by John Paul II on Nov. 21, 1999.

Feast: Jan. 19.

Bibliography: Lettere inedite del B. Tommaso da Cori dei frati minori, prepared by u. v. buttarelli (Assisi 1993). Vatican Information Service (July 2, 1999). L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 47 (November 24, 1999): 2.

[k. i. rabenstein]