Blessed Antonio Grassi
Fermo, Ascoli Piceno, November 13, 15-20December 13, 1671
Roman Martyrology: In Fermo in Italy, blessed Antonio Grassi, a priest of the Congregation dell’Oratorio, peaceful and humble man, who by his example prompted many brothers strongly with the rule.
Antonio Grassi was born into a distinguished family of Fermo (Ascoli Piceno) on November 13, 1592. His childhood was simple and religious studies at the curate of St. Peter, attending the church of S. Spirit of the Fathers of the Oratory. Soon embodied the spirit Filipino and entered the congregation on October 11, 1609. The Oratorio di Fermo, one of the oldest, was born in 1586, while S. Filippo Blacks was still alive (he died nine years later). On December 17, 1617, citizens in the Cathedral, Bishop Alessandro Strozzi ordered the priest. Mansueto and smiling, Father Antonio was distinguished by his catechetical commitment, especially in preparing children to receive the sacraments, and charity toward the sick and imprisoned. He spent many hours in the confessional, saying that the main task of the priest was sympathy, help and consolation.
In 1625, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome to gain indulgences of the Jubilee: he visited many churches and places of the Founder. His mysticism gained the admiration of all. In 1635 he was elected Superior Filippini of his city, a position he held until his death.
He had an exceptional charisma and all, nobles and common people, saw in him a father. In those years, in March, were born several Oratorian houses. In one of these, a Monte S. Right, instantly healed the knee of a woman, Giacoma Pupilli. Outstanding was his mission to “pacere, many rivalries that could set off between individuals as among the lowly. Quest’apostolato was so providential that the governor had put his portrait in the Palace City. Father of the poor, his charity was exaggerated. In a year of exceptional famine, he donated to the needy even their blankets, and his coat; he held out his hand to ask for alms and then distributed them to others. His generosity became proverbial and different stories have been told: Father Antonio Raccamadoro saw some copper coins in his hands turned into silver coins, in the Conservatory of Orfane wine multiplied in abundance. At night he visited those who were ashamed to seek his help. To the brothers, who sometimes blamed him for his excessive generosity, he said that Providence would not ever miss anything, for alms reduced to a minimum the expenditures of the house.
Truly, the Virgin Mary, was his annual pilgrimage, as long as he could walk, the Santa Casa di Loreto. Here was an actor of exceptional, struck by lightning but remaining unharmed while his clothes were burned, on September 4, 1621. Every Saturday went into the church of S. Maria a Mare to celebrate the Holy Mass, helping to revive the sanctuary that was almost abandoned.
His reputation for holiness arrived in Rome, earning the esteem of the pope and brothers. Among others Cardinal Colloredo, shortly after his death, began the process of beatification. Blessed Antonio predicted his ascent to heaven four years before it happened. Spiritually also attended by the Archbishop of Fermo, that during the days dell’agonia not moved away from his bedside, his last at 22, December 13, 1671. Legends of his holiness spread immediately throughout Italy and in Germany, many graces and miracles were attributed to him. During the Holy Year 1900, September 30, Pope Leo XIII beatified him. His body is kept in an artistic glass urn, under the high table of the Church of Carmine di Fermo. The monastery where he lived all his life as a priest for fifty-five years, is now the headquarters of the tribunal.
Author: Daniele Bolognini
SOURCE: Santi e Beati