Venturino of Bergamo

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Dominican preacher and religious leader, called also Venturino de Apibus; b. Bergamo, April 9, 1304; d. Smyrna, March 28, 1346. He entered the Dominicans at Bergamo and was ordained at Genoa (1328). Venturino joined the Dominican congregation of the Pilgrim Brothers and started for the Eastern missions, but was forced to remain teaching and preaching in Italy. He had a reputation for holiness and was involved in the political-religious problems of his times. He was emaciated and high-strung and spoke vividly in quick Latin or vernacular. His rich spiritual life, given expression in his treatise De profectu spirituali, suggests the mystical idea of penance propagated by St. Vincent Ferrer. He founded the monastery of nuns, St. Mary's in Bergamo. He led many pilgrims to Rome in penance, but was judged a hypocrite by Benedict XII in a letter from Avignon and exiled to France. After eight years he was cleared by Clement VI and given the crusader's flag. In the company of Henry II of the Dauphiné, and together with thousands of Italian recruits, he sailed in 1344 to Smyrna, where he died of fever two weeks after his arrival. There is a biographical-inspirational Legend concerning him. The title "Blessed" is sometimes given him, but he was never formally beatified.

Bibliography: g. clementi, Il B. Venturino da Bergamo (Rome 1904). p. a. grion, "La Legenda del B. Venturino ," Bergomum 30 (1956) 11110. e. hocedez, "La Legende latine du B. Venturino da Bergamo," Analecta Bollandiana 25 (1906) 298303.

[b. cavanaugh]