Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Memorial of Bl Louis Morbioli

"The oldest biography of Blessed Louis is a poem composed between 1485 and 1489 (Saggi dates it in the autumn of 1486) by Bl. Baptist of Mantua, who lived in Bologna for many years. Louis belonged to a family of the lower middle class; his father was called Francis of Anthony, his mother Agnes, and these were blessed with six children, five boys and one girl. Louis was born in Bologna in 1433; his youth was happy and carefree, nor did his life change after his marriage with Lucy, daughter of John Tura.

In 1462 he moved to Venice, where he was struck by a serious illness, taken into the hospice of the Canons Regular of St. Savior, he underwent a profound spiritual crisis that resulted in a radical change in his life. He probably returned to Bologna in 1470, and aroused admiration and amazement for his austere and penitent conduct. He separated from his wife, put on a plain grey habit, much like that of the Carmelites (hence the erroneous affirmation that he was a Carmelite tertiary), which he afterwards changed for a white one with a cross on his breast and which he wore both summer and winter. He went through the streets of Bologna preaching penance and mortification, and accompanied those condemned to the scaffold. He visited other cities of Emilia (Modena, Ferrara) on donkey back. He traveled the streets holding a cross in his hand and preaching penance. When he became sick, he refused every relief. He died at Bologna on Nov. 9, 1485, as he himself had foretold.

He was buried in the cathedral of St. Peter. Although a popular cult to him began immediately after his death, his bones were not found in the restoration of the cathedral, which occurred under Gabriel Card. Paleotti (1566-97). Already in 1582, Louis was inscribed in the catalogue of saints of Bologna, and Card. Paleotti included him in the Archiepiscopalis Bononiensis /Of the Archdiocese of Bologna/ in 1594. Under Jerome Card. Boncompagni a regular process of canonization was begun (1654), but the work was never brought to a conclusion. In 1843 his cult was permitted for the diocese of Bologna and for the Carmelite Order, which erroneously claimed him as one of its tertiaries. The liturgical celebration at Bologna is fixed for Nov. 17, as an optional memorial."

-- Biography by John Dominic Gordini

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