Blessed Antonio Lucci

Blessed Antonio LucciAlso known as

  • Angel of the Poor (references to him as bishop)
  • Angelo Nicola Lucci

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The son of Francesco Lucci, a cobbler and coppersmith, and Angela Paolantonio, he was raised in a pious home, taught by Franciscans, and developed a devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. Angelo joined the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventuals in his teens, making his solemn vows in 1698 and taking the name Brother Antonio. He studied rhetoric, logic and philosophy at the Franciscan houses in the Italian cities of Venafro, Alvito and Aversa, and then theology in Agnone and Fasani; Antonio said he was grateful for his studies as the discipline required for them helped him get a quick temper under control. Ordained a priest on 19 September 1705 in Assisi, Italy. Noted theologian, biblical scholar, teacher and preacher. Doctor of theology in 1709. Regent and professor at the Franciscan school in Ravello, Italy from 1709 to 1712. Regent and professor at the Franciscan San Lorenzo school in Naples, Italy from 1713 to 1718. Franciscan Provincial in 1718. Regent and professor at the College of Saint Bonaventure in Rome, Italy from 1719 to 1729. Writer on matters of theology, philosophy and history. At the request of Pope Benedict XIII, he became a theological consultant to the Holy Office, consultant to the Lateran synod, and wrote against Jansenism for Benedict XIII.

Chosen reluctant bishop of Bovino, Italy in December 1728; consecrated on 2 July 1729 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, he served his diocese the remaining 23 years of his life. Known for his charity to the poor (he gave away most of his personal income), and the creation of schools and catechism classes for the young and the poor, theological and training in public speakign for Mpriests, all of whom had been much neglected in a tiny diocese beset with political problems. He travelled through the diocese, re-equipped and repaired churches, enforced discipline on his clergy who had fallen into worldly ways, raised the standards and revilatized the liturgy and parish life throughout his see, and even visited hermits to ensure that their lives were in line with Church teachings. His reforms were opposed by local lords and princes who had fostered and who benefitted from the lax and worldly ways of the priests and people, who wanted to control appointments of clergy and offices, and who tried to treat Church property as their own. Bishop Antonio fought them at every step, always defending the poor and outcast, and the rights of the Church, and ignoring their demands for the appointment of friends and followers to positions that he filled with more qualified candidates. He restored the cathedral, which had fallen into disrepair, and supported a resumption of devotions. Somewhere along the way he managed to write Manual of Theology which was used as a standard textbook for many years, and in 1740 a book about the saints and beati from the first 200 years of the Franciscan Conventuals.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori wrote about him, praising the work he had done, and declaring him a holy man. Saint Francesco Antonio Fasani testified at diocesan hearings about the holiness of Blessed Antonio. When Benedict XIII chose Brother Antonio as bishop of Bovino, he wrote “I have chosen as bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint.”

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Antonio Lucci“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 October 2016. Web. 10 December 2016. <>