Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Francis Caracciolo (1563–1608)

Saint Francis Caracciolo (1563–1608)

Patron saint of Naples, Italy, and the Association of Italian Cooks

Feast day: June 4

Saint Francis Caracciolo had a rare skin disease that resembled leprosy. When he was ordained a priest, the mysterious condition went away. He joined the White Robes of Justice, who ministered to condemned prisoners. He was mistakenly contacted by Father John Augustine Adorno to found a new religious order of priests, but the two became friends and ended up establishing the Congregation of the Minor Clerks Regular, who helped the sick and prisoners. He was appointed superior of the congregation but continued to do menial household tasks.

Francis was well known for his work with the poor, his prophecies, and his miraculous ability to cure the sick by blessing them with the Sign of the Cross. He was sought after to become bishop but refused, referring to his congregation’s vow not to hold any high position in the Church. He often spent whole nights in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and his personal motto, taken from Psalm 68, was "Zeal for your house consumes me." He died on the Vigil of Corpus Christi, a feast honoring the Body and Blood of Christ.

(Image Zitumassin, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)