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Francis of Fabriano

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Francis of Fabriano (Francesco Venimbeni or Veninbeni) (b. 2 September 1251; d. 22 April 1322) was an Italian Franciscan writer. He was beatified in 1775.


Having completed the study of humanities and of philosophy, he asked for admission at a neighboring Franciscan convent, in 1267. He applied himself to the study of theology, and devoted the remainder of his life to missionary labours in his native town and vicinity.


He purchased with his father's money a handsome library, the first on an extended scale established in the order. He loved to call it the "best workshop in the convent", and its catalogue, mentioned by Luke Wadding, contains works of the Church Fathers, the masters of theology, biblical commentators, philosophers, mathematicians, and preachers. Mark of Lisbon styles him a "most learned man and renowned preacher".

Of his writings, little has been published. His "Chronica Marchiæ et Fabriani", his "De veritate et excellentiâ Indulgentiæ S. Mariæ de Portiuncula", and the "Opusculum de serie et gestis Ministrorum Generalium", all three probably forming one extensive chronicle, have disappeared, save a few fragments bearing on early Franciscan history. Besides several treatises of a philosophical, ascetical, and didactic character, he wrote an "Ars Prædicantium", numerous "Sermons", and an elegy on the death of St. Bonaventure. His cult was approved by Pius VI in 1775.


A biography was written by his nephew, Dominic Fessi, and other contemporary writers. Luke Wadding has collected and utilized their accounts for his Annals.

Pulignani, Miscell. Francesc., X, 69 sq. enumerates the more recent biographers, and recommends especially two books by Luigi Tasso: Discorso laudatorio del B. Francesco Venimbeni da Fabriano (Fabriano, 1881), and Vita del B. Francesco da Fabriano dell' ordine dei Minori (Fabriano, 1893). The latter contains a brief treatise by Francis, and his elegy on St. Bonaventure. Extracts from his Chronicle have been edited by Pulignani, op. cit., 69-72. Cf.

  • De Clary, LAureole Seraph., tr. Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the three Orders of St. Francis (Taunton, 1882) II, 171-175;
  • Wadding, Annales (Rome, 1731 ), III, 244, 245, IV, 276-278, 400, VI, 377-385;
  • ___, Scriptores (Rome, 1659), 115;
  • Sbaralea, Supplementum (Rome, 1806), 252;
  • Acta Sanctorum (Venice, 1734-), April, III, 88-94.

This article incorporates text from the entry Bl. Francis of Fabriano in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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