On this day: St. Andrew Avellino

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Andrew Avellino, 1521-1608.

Lancelotto Avellino was a canon lawyer and a priest for the diocese of Naples. One day, while pleading a case, he told a lie. His remorse caused him to give up the practice of law.

The Archbishop sent him to reform a convent. Men who were accustomed to visiting the nuns assaulted Avellino and nearly killed him. He was taken to the Theatine monastery for treatment. He decided to enter the order, taking the name Andrew. He became novice master and then superior. As such, he founded additional houses of the order.

Andrew Avellino became famous for preaching and for spiritual direction.

"At length, after giving heroic examples of virtue, and becoming illustrious for his gift of prophecy, whereby he knew the secrets of hearts, and distant and future events, he was worn out with old age and broken down with labours. As he was at the foot of the Altar about to say Mass, he thrice repeated the words: I will go in to the altar of God, and fell down struck with apoplexy. After being strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church, he peacefully expired in the midst of his brethren. His body was buried at Naples in the church of St. Paul, and is honoured even to this day by as great a concourse of people as attended the interment. Finally, as he had been illustrious for miracles both in life and after death, he was solemnly enrolled among' the Saints by Pope Clement XI."

--from The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., Benziger Brothers, 1903, page 265.

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