Ludovico of Casoria (Archangelo Palmentieri) (b. at Casoria, near Naples, 11 March 1814; d. at Pausilippo, 30 March 1885) was an Italian Franciscan monk, founder of the Frati Bigi. He was beatified in 1993[1].


On 1 July, 1832, he entered the Order of Friars Minor, and shortly after the completion of the year's novitiate was appointed to teach philosophy and mathematics in the Franciscan convent of San Pietro in Naples.

Following the advice of his superiors, he instituted a branch of the Third Order at San Pietro from the members of which he formed later a religious institute, commonly known as the Frati Bigi ("Gray Monks" in Italian) on account of the grayish or ashen colour of their habits. He instituted likewise a congregation of religious women, known as the Suore Bigie ("Gray Nuns"), whom he placed under the protection of Elizabeth of Hungary.

About the year 1852 he opened a school for the education of African boys and girls redeemed from slavery. Ten years before his death he was attacked with a serious and painful illness, from which he never completely recovered.

The cause of his beatification was introduced in Rome in 1907.


  • Acta Ordinis Minorum (May, 1907), 156-158;
  • The Catholic World (November, 1895), 155-166;
  • Voce di Sant' Antonio (July, 1907), 23-26.


  1. The Papacy of John Paul II

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

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