Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Memorial of Bl Angelus Mazzinghi

"Angelus was the son of Augustine, of the Peretola branch of the Mazzinghi family which lived in Florence. The date of his birth is not known with exactness, but it can probably be placed before 1386. About 1413 he entered the Carmelite Order and was, as the necrology of the Florentine Carmel attests, the first son of the nascent “observance of the Selve” /the Woods/ — the Carmelite reform begun in the convent of the same name, near Lastra a Signa, and which later grew into the so-called Mantuan Congregation. About two years later he was already a priest, and was charged with preaching in the same convent, where he was also prior for the years 1419-30 and 1437. In 1431-34 and in 1436 he preached the Lenten sermons in Florence. He was prior of the Florentine Carmel in 1435-37. He also filled other offices in and outside the Order. In 1434 he was given the title of lector.

The necrology mentioned above, in the notice written immediately after his death, which occurred on Aug. 17, 1438, relates of him: most virtuous, of solid doctrine, a master in counseling, well-known and holy, a very famous preacher. His confrere and contemporary, Nicholas Calciuri of Sicily, who had lived with him for some time, reports that he heard, from witnesses "worthy of belief", that while the blessed was preaching in Florence, roses and flowers were seen to issue from his mouth; these flowers were gathered together by two angels and woven into a crown around his head. This is the iconographical motif with which the blessed is represented.

The casket containing his body was first elevated above the floor; but in 1575 it was placed under the Manetti altar in the Carmelite church of Florence. The Bollandists, in publishing the Acts of the Saints of August in 1737 did not believe the holiness and the cult of the blessed sufficiently proved, and therefore listed him among the praetermissi /left asides/; but they were prepared to take up the matter again when proof would be forthcoming. Two years later there was another translation of the blessed to the Brancacci chapel of the same Carmelite church. Dominic Mary Manni published his Life in 1739.

The diocesan process for the recognition of cult from time immemorial was held in 1758; that of the S. Cong. of Rites ended on Dec. 22, 1759; and the decree of confirmation of cult is dated March 7, 1761. Since 1930 the remains of the blessed rest under the high altar of the Carmelite church in Florence. He was always venerated by the people of Florence, especially under the name of Blessed Angiolino /Little Angelus/. His feast occurs on Aug. 17 as an optional memorial among the Carmelites."

-- Biography by Louis Saggi, OCarm

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