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John of Fermo

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Blessed John of Fermo, more often called John of La Verna, from his time spent on that mountain (1259 - 10 August 1322) was an Italian Roman Catholic clerical ascetic and preacher.

Biography

He was born at Fermo in the Marche. After a youth of precocious piety, he was received at the age of ten among the Canons of St. Peter's at Fermo. Three years later, desirous of leading a more austere life, he entered the Order of Friars Minor, and under the direction of the celebrated brother James of Fallerone soon made rapid progress in perfection.

Shortly after his profession, John was sent by the minister general to Mount La Verna in Tuscany, where St. Francis of Assisi had received the stigmata, and there he spent many years in solitude, penance and contemplation, receiving ecstasies and celestial visions.

His late years, however, were devoted to the Apostolic ministry, and he preached at Florence, Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, Perugia and many other towns of northern and central Italy, working wonders everywhere.

He was a close friend of the poet Jacopone of Todi and administered the last sacraments to him in 1306. John is said to have composed the preface which is said in the Mass of St. Francis. Feeling the approach of death at Cortona while on his way to Assisi, John returned to La Verna and died there at the age of sixty-three in 1322.

Veneration

He was buried on the holy mountain, where many miracles were wrought through his intercession, and where his cell is still shown. The cultus of Blessed John was approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1880.

His liturgical feast is kept in the Order of Friars Minor on 9 August.

Source

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

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