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Friday, 03 December 2021 07:59

Blessed Bartolomew Fanti, Carmelite

On December 5th we celebrate the memorial of Blessed Bartolomew Fanti.

For 35 years, Bartolomew Fanti was part of the Confraternity of Our Lady in the Carmelite church of Mantova. On January 1, 1460, he became the spiritual director and rector of the confraternity, writing its rule and statutes. It is clear that he was completely dedicated to this ministry until he died.

Such was his own devotion to the Eucharist that it stressed by his biographers along with that of his very loving devotion towards the Virgin Mary. A popular image of Blessed Bartolomew shows him explaining the Eucharist to a group of novices, including Blessed Baptist Spagnoli, seated prominently in the front row. Other biographers stress his extraordinary effective preaching.

Such claims that Blessed Baptist Spagnoli was a novice of Fanti’s appear to be erroneous for a couple of reasons. There are no reliable indications that Fanti served as a novice director and Spagnoli spend his first year in 1463-1464 at Ferrara and not at Mantova.

The Rule for the Confraternity consists of 12 chapters written by Fanti. He uses a very simple and concise style some say is indicative of the First Order of Carmelites. He also wrote a registry of worthwhile facts. These writings have been published, with an exhaustive introductory text, by Graziano of St. Teresa.

Fanti died in 1495. In 1516 his body was moved from its tomb to the chapel of the Church to Our Lady. In 1598 his body was placed under the altar. Following the suppression of the house, in 1783, his body was moved to San Marco, and from there, after approximately 10 years, to the cathedral where it remains today, incorrupt, in the chapel of the crowned Madonna.

Prayer

Lord God,
you made Blessed Bartholomew Fanti
outstanding in his zeal for devotion to the Eucharist
and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
May we experience in this regard
the same fullness of spirit that was his.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

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