- Thomas of Florence
- Tommaso Bellacci
Son of a butcher, he led such a wild and dissolute life that parents warned their sons to stay away from him. Accused of a serious crime he had not committed, Thomas wandered the streets until he met a priest who listened to his story, took the lad in, and got him cleared of the accusation.
Thomas was so shocked by the incident, and moved by the good example of the priest, that he broke off his old ways, and led a life of prayer and penance. Franciscan lay brother, joining in Fiesole, Italy. He became a model friar, fasting, keeping vigils, disciplining himself, wearing the cast-off clothes of his brothers. Given to religious ecstasies. Though never ordained, Thomas was appointed novice master, and he led many young men to a path of holiness.
Thomas founded several friaries in southern Italy and Corsica. Pope Martin V called on him to preach in Tuscany against the Fraticelli, a group of heretical Franciscans. Sent to Syria and Abyssinia to promote reunification of the Eastern and Western Churches when he was already over 70 years old. Imprisoned for his faith, he expected to be martyred, but the Vatican ransomed him out. Thomas returned to Italy, and died on a journey to Rome where he had planned to ask permission to return to the Orient.
- “Blessed Thomas Bellacci“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 August 2013. Web. 8 July 2015. <>