Francis Caracciolo

Francis Caracciolo

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Francis Caracciolo

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Saint Francis Caracciolo (October 13, 1563 – June 4, 1608), born Ascanio Pisquizio, was an Italian Catholic priest who co-founded the Congregation of the Minor Clerics Regular with Venerable John Augustine Adorno. He decided to adopt a religious life at the age of 22.


St Francis Caracciolo was born in Villa Santa Maria in the Abruzzo region, in the Kingdom of Naples. He belonged to the Pisquizio branch of the Caracciolo family and received in baptism the name of Ascanio. From his infancy, he had a reputation for gentleness and uprightness. He vowed himself to an ecclesiastical life, and distributing his goods to the poor, went to Naples in 1585 to study theology. In 1587 he was ordained priest and joined the confraternity of the Bianchi della Giustizia (The White Robes of Justice), whose object was to assist condemned criminals to die holy deaths.

A letter from Giovanni Agostino Adorno to another Caracciolo, Fabrizio, begging him to take part in founding a new religious institute, was delivered by mistake to the newly ordained priest, and he saw in this circumstance an assurance of the Divine Will towards him (1588). He assisted in drawing up rules for the new congregation, which was approved by Pope Sixtus V, July 1, 1588, and confirmed by Pope Gregory XIV on February 18, 1591, and reconfirmed by Pope Clement VIII on June 1, 1592.

The institute founded thereby, named the Congregation of the Minor Clerks Regular (the "Adorno......
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