Blessed James Capocci of Viterbo, December 12

Blessed James Capocci of Viterbo
Viterbo, about 1255 – Naples, 1307 / 8

He was born in Viterbo around 1255, but there is no information about his childhood. In 1272 he entered between the Hermits of St. Augustine, dressed in the habit in Viterbo Convent of the Holy Trinity. He studied theology in Paris where he received his doctorate in theology in 1293. Taught in Naples for two years beginning in 1300, when Boniface VIII appointed him archbishop of Benevento and then he went to Naples. Here he gained the confidence of King Charles II of Anjou and his son Robert, Duke of Calabria, who helped him in building the new cathedral. On May 13, 1306 he started, at the request of Clement V, the cause of canonization of Celestine V. In this cause he devoted himself with zeal until his death in Naples at the end of 1307. His only published work in full and the ‘De regimine christiano, “written in 1303 during the struggle between Boniface VIII and Philip the Fair. His cult was officially confirmed by Pius X in 1911.

Roman Martyrology: At Naples, the commemoration of the blessed James Capocci, bishop, hermit of St. Augustine who was called to rule the Church of Benevento and later that of Naples, who enlightens all with wisdom, knowledge and prudence.

Perhaps a descendant of the noble family Capocci, he was born in Viterbo around 1255, but there is no news of his childhood. Quickly embracing the religious life, he entered in 1272 the Hermits of St. Augustine, taking the habit in Viterbo Convent of the Holy Trinity. Before 1275 he was sent to Paris to study theology at the University of his Order, where he attended the lectures of Egidio Romano, who was then still in great esteem. He returned home in 1281-82, he served first as prime Definitor of the Roman province in 1283, and was visited in 1284 and again in 1285 Definitor, exercising in the meantime, in all probability, also provide the reader in some convent the same province.

Along with perhaps Giles of Rome, he returned to Paris in 1286 to resume his theological studies, earning his baccalaureate in 1288 and, at the end of the prescribed courses, the Ph.D. in 1293. Nomination by Giles of Rome, elected Prior General of the Order, in the same year was appointed Regent of the Master studies in Paris, remaining in office until 1299. He returned to Italy in 1300, taught for two years at the University of Naples, when he had to leave because appointed by Boniface VIII, September 3, 1302, archbishop of Benevento, and the 6 or December 12 after he was transferred to headquarters in Naples, where, a truly zealous Pastor, he was able to earn the respect and veneration of King Charles II of Anjou and his son Robert, Duke of Calabria, who helped him in building the new cathedral.

On May 13, 1306 he opened the cause of canonization of the holy Pope Celestine V, who had been expressly delegated by Clement V, in which he took every care enough to go personally to collect testimonies on the same spot where Peter of Morrone led his penitential life, and that activity continued until his death in Naples, with a reputation of sanctity.

Considered one of the largest theological school for the sharpness of his mind, deserved the honorific title of doctor speculativus. The only work published in full of b. James is the De regimine christiano, written in 1303 during the struggle between Boniface VIII and Philip the Fair, and that can be considered the first systematic treatise on the Church.

He died in Naples in late 1307 or early 1308.

The memory of James, immediately surrounded with reverence, soon became the subject of public worship, confirmed officially by Pope St. Pius X in 1911.

His liturgical memorial is marked on December 12.

Author: P. Bruno Silvestrini O.S.A.

Source: Santi e Beati

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