Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
Today is the feast of a fairly obscure saint, St. Francis Caracciolo, and in re-reading just the little Wikipedia page about him, I was gobsmacked by all of his supremely admirable qualities, so much that I thought to myself, “This guy is the complete package in terms of the priesthood.”
Here are just a few highlights:
- Upon ordination, St. Francis Caracciolo joined the Confraternity of the White Robes of Justice, a confraternity dedicated to assisting condemned criminals to die a holy death. What a noble apostolate. If you would like to read more about the Death Penalty, and it is an essential part of a Catholic society precisely because it affirms the dignity of man, first and foremost the criminal himself, check out this piece that I wrote several years ago after having a Mass said for Jamie Dimon – yes, J.P. Morgan Jamie Dimon. It is no quirk or mistake that the Culture of Death that we live in is stridently against the Death Penalty and seeks to eliminate it, and that the Culture of Life, fully-formed, understands the Death Penalty to be an essential component of any society which confesses Jesus Christ as its Sovereign King.
- A letter was mistakenly delivered to St. Francis Caracciolo which was actually meant for another man, one Fr. Fabrizio Caracciolo. In this letter, the sender, a priest in Genoa, was urgently asking that a new religious community be formed by Fr. Fabrizio. St. Francis Caracciolo, seeing that the delivery was a mistake, still took the letter as a clear communiquė from The Divine Providence, and immediately went to work establishing a new congregation. Look at the virility and potency on display here. Today, people refuse to act even when being beaten over the head with sign after sign after sign. This is due to effeminacy (refusing to do something because it might result in a reduction in earthly pleasure, such as loss of income, prestige, physical comforts, etc.) and sloth (refusing to do something because the task is difficult).
- One of the pillars of the community St. Francis Caracciolo founded was PERPETUAL ADORATION of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. ‘Nuff said.
- Even as Superior of the order he founded, he insisted upon sharing menial tasks, such a sweeping floors (hence the image above), and washing the dishes. When a priest displays an unwillingness, refusal, or resentment at having to do menial tasks, this is a huge red flag, and is a prominent manifestation of EFFEMINATE CLERICALISM. Just as Our Lord worked in St. Joseph’s woodshop, good and holy priests NEVER use their clerical state in order to shirk work, and are happy helpers and leaders by example when it comes to work, especially menial tasks. (This character trait also applies in the secular world. Good bosses and leaders have no problem doing whatever job needs to be done, no matter how menial, and are eager to do it if they are available and it does not take them away from another duty.)
- St. Francis Caracciolo loved the confessional, and spent countless hours hearing confessions. Good priests love the confessional, and not uncommonly refer to it as “the best part of my day”.
- St. Francis Caracciolo would spend most nights in adoration of Our Lord before the tabernacle, and would often catch a few winks by simply lying down upon the steps of the altar and sleeping at Our Lord’s “feet”, so to speak.
- He often wept in prayer, constantly repeating the verse from Psalm 68, “The zeal of Thy House hath eaten me up.” When he died, his heart was found to be “burned” inside his chest, with those very words “Zelus domus Tuæ comedit me” branded around it.
- Very predictably, he was hated by others within the Church for the great success of his Order, and was constantly opposed and calumniated.
St. Francis Caracciolo, pray for priests (!), pray for us.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.