Bl. Aloysius Rabatà, Priest (mf)
Born at Erice, near Trapani, Sicily, probably in 1443, Bl. Aloysius Rabatà entered the Order of Carmel at the Annunziata convent in Trapani at an early age. He was appointed prior of the reformed house of Randazzo where he died in 1490. According to tradition, he was mortally wounded in the head by an arrow after having denounced the extravagant dress of a local lord. Aloysius pardoned his attacker but refused to reveal his name.
Reliable information in regard to Aloysius, who was born at Erice (Trapani, Sicily), very probably in 1443, is furnished by the canonical processes held at Randazzo (Catania) in 1533 and by others of 1573; but this all refers to his mature years and to his death. We can believe, however, with a certain assurance, that he was clothed in the habit of the Carmelites in the convent of the Annunziata /Our Lady of the Anunciation / at Trapani, where he did his studies and was ordained a priest. Sent as superior to the reformed convent of Randazzo, he lived there till his death, which occurred in 1490 (perhaps on May 8).
His body, buried in the church at Randazzo, immediately became an object of veneration and the goal of the sick, especially of the obsessed; and all experienced the intercession of the man of God and his miraculous power. Relics of the blessed are also at Erice, since 1617, and at Trapani, since 1640.
The processes for his canonization (1533 and 1573) document the holy life Of Aloysius, a fervent religious who knew how to harmonize the duties of an impeccable regular observance and those towards his neighbor, imposed upon him by his priestly ministry and by an enlightened charity. Pope Gregory XVI approved his cult on Dec. 10, 1841; and in 1842 his office and prayer were approved. The latest liturgical reform has assigned him an optional memorial on May 8 in the Carmelite Order.
In iconography, which includes works by Dominic La Bruna (XVIII cent.), Rosarius Bagnasco (XIX cent.), Vincent Manno (XIX cent.) and Dominic Li Muli (sculpture, XX cent.), Aloysius is always represented with a palm in his hand and an arrow, which was the cause of his death, driven into his forehead. For, according to tradition, a certain Anthony Catalucci wounded the blessed because he thought Aloysius had displayed excessive zeal in condemning the conduct of a brother of his. Nevertheless, the true assailant is not known; nor did Aloysius, who was asked about it several times, confirm what was being rumored about. At any rate, he is not included among the martyrs, but among the confessors.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Biblioteca comunale di Palermo, ms. 3Qq. c. 36; G. Castronovo, Erice, oggi Monte S. Giuliano, memorie storiche, III, Palermo 1880 pp. 206-48; P. Simonelll, II b. L.B. carmelitano; studio sulla figura e stil culto; testo dei processi canonici del sec. XVI, Rome 1968.