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Augustine Fangi
Blessed Augustine Fangi of Biella
Confessor
Born 1430, Biella, Italy
Died 22 July 1493, Venice, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 1878 by Pope Leo XIII[a]
Feast 22 July[1] or 24 July[2]

Blessed Augustine Fangi (also, Augustine of Biella, or, in Italian, Beato Agostino Fangi) (1430 – 22 July 1493)[b] was an Italian Dominican friar and priest. He was commonly regarded in his time as a miracle worker, and as prior of several houses, was concerned with restoring and maintaining regular observance of the Rule of Saint Dominic.[2]

LifeEdit

The life of Augustine Fangi was marked by piety and regularity, rather than by extremely unusual events or spiritual ambitiousness.[c] Fangi was born in Biella, Italy to a wealthy family who had planned a secular career for him. Instead, young Augustine was impressed at the newly-arrived Dominicans in Biella and joined the convent there.[1]

One remarkable characteristic noted of Blessed Augustine was his equanimity and ability to concentrate intensely on spiritual matters. One incident recorded involves a surgical operation that he was required to undergo, without anesthetic (as such conveniences did not exist in the 15th century). He did so without crying out at all. Afterwards, he simply stated that his mind was so intensely focused on something else that he hardly noticed what was being done.[1]

In 1464, Augustine was made prior of the convent at Soncino. He is said to have performed several miracles there. One involved a deformed child who had died without baptism yet was restored to life by Augustine's prayer long enough to be baptized. Another miracle involved a boy who was crying bitterly because he had broken a jug of wine. Augustine gathered up the shards and put them back together again. The account continues to state that with a prayer, he refilled the jug, and handed it back to the startled child.[1]

The last ten years of Augustine's life were spent in Venice, where he died on the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene.[3]

VenerationEdit

Augustine Fangi was buried in a damp place.[1] In the 1530s, workmen doing repairs on the church where he was interred found his coffin floating in water which had seeped into the burial chamber. However, when opened, Augustine's body and clothing were reportedly found to be incorrupt.[3] This did much to increase devotion to his cause for canonization. Even so, by the time he was beatified, three centuries had passed, and he had been forgotten by everyone except the residents of Biella.[1]

In 1872, Augustine's cultus was confirmed, and in 1878 he was beatified.[3]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Unfortunately, this is speculation, as in the year 1878, there were two popes, Pope Pius IX, who died in February, and Pope Leo XIII, who was elected pope in early March of that year. It is most likely that Blessed Augustine was beatified by Leo XIII. At least one source states that we was beatified in 1872 by Pope Pius IX,[4] but apparently this refers to the confirmation of his cultus.
  2. ^ Curiously, Catholic Encyclopedia's article on Dies Irae cites "Agostino Biella, an Augustinian (d. 1491)" as a possible author of that requiem sequence. Any relation to Augustine of Biella is unknown.
  3. ^ This is an interesting comment by the source (Rabenstein), given that both the Patron Saints Index (Jones) and the source itself include a list of outstanding miracles.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rabenstein, Katherine (July 1998). "Blessed Augustine Fangi, OP (AC)". Saints O' the Day for July 22. http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0722.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Augustine of Biella". Mary, Star of the Sea Pro-Chapter, of the Fraternities of St. Dominic. http://www.3optidewater.org/public/saints.php. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jones, Terry. "Augustine Fangi". Patron Saints Index. http://www.catholic-forum.com/SAINTS/sainta0a.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  4. "Blessed Augustine Fangi of Biella, C.O.P.". Willing Shepherds of Jesus Christ Chapter of the Third Order of Saint Dominic. http://willingshepherds.org/Dominican%20Saints%20May.html. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 

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