This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 5 - Bartolomeo Longo

Amidst the usual monks and martyrs, Blessed Bartholomew (a beatus, not yet a full saint) stands out as one of a kind. A nineteenth century son of a physician, he declined from skepticism to scorn for the Church. [Yes, I see that as a decline.] But then he embraced occultism and eventually Satanism. I figure a Satanist is either trying too hard to be shocking, or he is devoutly searching for a God who will respond to him. I'm not saying that God responded to Bart, but his friends certainly did. They hung in with him through all his stages, urging him to return to the Church.

Eventually he did, and he came roaring back into the fold with the zeal of a reformed man. He established a shrine, using a discarded painting of Mary, in order to raise funds for the poor. Miracles were reported by pilgrims, and the shrine grew to a church, and then to a basilica. Today, it receives 10,000 visitors on a good day.

Brother Bart married a widow with whom he worked closely, but they honored their vows to live chastely. Their marriage was mostly to avoid the rumor of scandal because they were such close colleagues. They founded schools for the children of convicts, helping to disprove the early twentieth century belief that criminal tendencies were genetic.

Bartolomeo was buried beside his wife Mariana in the crypt beneath the basilica they founded. If you're ever in the valley of Pompei, stop by Our Lady of the Rosary and see them.

1 comment:

  1. Did she not become a saint? She seems to have shared in the achievements. jem