Friday, April 16, 2010

Ven Alessandro of St Francis

Member of the noble family Ubaldini, grandson of Leo XI of the Medici, Lelio Ubaldini entered the novitiate of the Scala in 1605 and received the habit of the Reform on April 2, the day after the elevation to the pontificate of Rome of his uncle Cardinal Alexander of the same name. Lelio received the name of Alessandro of St Francis.

Alessandro completed his novitiate  under the guidance of Ven Fr John of Jesus Mary who closely followed the spiritual journey of his disciple and noted with amazement the rapid ascent to the summit of contemplation. He accepted only under obedience to be ordained priest, and only under obedience he accepted immediate the service of the province and the Order in the tasks that he was conferred.
Alessandro will be the second provincial of his province after Fr James of St Vincent, who had worked with the Father General to return Fr Alexander from Paris to the province to make use of good example and the government of a religious so virtuous and holy.

Alessandro will even be provincial councilor (1625), prior of Saint Maria della Scala (1619), visitor and Definitor General (1626). But he can repeat what has been said of his teacher, Fr John of Jesus Mary, namely, the office that most distinguished his work was that master of novices. The young man exercised this office in Cremona, then in Paris and Charenton from 1611 to 1619, and then at Saint Maria della Scala from 1625 to 1629. And he accomplished this with such tact and skill as to deserve the recognition of his disciples and the praise of his  biographers, such as the following from Fr Phillip Mary of St Paul: "take out Fr John of Jesus Mary, the Reform has not had a better teacher".
He wrote many valuable spiritual works, and gave the Italian Carmel  the first complete translation of the works of Sr John of the Cross, which had the honor of a dozen reprints. But Fr Alexander is not mentioned so much for what he did and wrote, but for what he was, "a perfect image of the true teresian","a most exact copy of our Seraphic Mother"... "Such that there will hardly be a resemblance so perfect and appropriate".
Alessandro died at just 42 years [on 16 April at Saint Maria della Scala] after he renewed his profession in the hands of Fr General and after singing the "Te Deum" alternating one verse the Father and the other the whole community "(Letter of Father Gabriel of the Resurrection, Prior of Caprarola, 20 April 1630).

-- Slightly modified from the website of the Discalced Carmelite Friars of the Rome Province
translated by ocdsister

1 comment:

aspiring... said...


I'm glad to be familiar with this explanation. It speaks so truly and timelessly to many conditions of immodesty, innocent and otherwise. I have found 'ears,' willing ears even, for it on two occasions already :) . I praise God often for those with words for truth we know and feel but have no words for ourselves.