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Giovenale Ancina

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Giovanni Giovenale Ancina (19 October 1545 - August 30, 1604) was an Italian priest, scholar and music composer, known also as an orator. He was beatified in the late nineteenth century.

Ancina was born into a wealthy family of Fossano, in what is now the province of Cuneo. He received a university education in medicine and philosophy and during his youth became also an accomplished man of letters and musician.

Given his talents, interests and connections a variety of career options were in prospect. However, hearing the call to the priesthood he decided to dedicate his life to the apostolate. He first worked in Naples with Saint Philip Neri at the Congregation of the Oratory. Then he worked in Saluzzo where he introduced the use of the Catechism and influenced the population in the directions of piety and charity. In 1596 Juvenal Pope Clement VIII make him Bishop of the town.

Ancina died of a suspected poisoning in 1604.

On 9 February 1890 he was beatified by Pope Leo XIII. He is the patron saint of his town of birth, Fossano.


In Naples, Ancina, who was also a musician and music editor, composed the Tempio Armonico della Beatissima Vergine, a collection of spiritual songs.

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