Blessed Gentile Matelica
Matelica, Macerata, 1290 – Tauris, September 5, 1340
He was a Franciscan missionary in Egypt, then in Asia Minor, Persia and Armenia. The Doge Marco Corsaro transferred his relics to the Church of the Frari in Venice.
Blessed Gentile was born in 1290 to the noble family of Finaguerra Matelica (MC). Attracted by the ideal Franciscan finn as a child, he became a priest, and devoted his life to works of the apostolate in the various regions of Italy.
With a desire to imitate St. Francis, he withdrew into solitude and penance on the holy mountain of La Verna in Tuscany, where he was destined for his virtues repeatedly to drive the brothers. After this intense spiritual preparation, he went to ground mission in Egypt, but here the difficulties in learning the Arabic language seemed so insurmountable that he decided to return home. The Lord helped him in a surprising way, and was soon able to speak not only Arabic, but also the languages of neighboring countries. Thus he was able to bring the proclamation of the Gospel to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, to the Holy Places in Turkey and Persia. Through lively and vibrant preaching, accompanied by many miracles, he produced thousands of conversions and baptisms. This aroused the anger of Muslims, who could not bear that so many people embraced Christianity, during a sermon in the territory of Tauris and was assaulted with a blow of the scimitar, which beheaded him. It was September 5, 1340. Part of his body, much revered by Christians of these regions, was requested by the browser and Venetian merchant Nicolo Quirini and transported by ship to Venice, where he was placed in the basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa is venerated to this day.
Pius VI February 2, 1795 granted to celebrate the festival on September 5.
Author: Elisabeth Nardi
Source: Santi e Beati