Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria, also known as St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, was born in 1502 in Cremona, Duchy of Milan, and died on July 5 1539. He was the founder of Barnabites religious order and a promoter of the devotion to the Passion of Christ. His feast day is celebrated on July 5 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria Biography|
|Date of Birth||1502|
|Place of Birth||Cremona, Lombardy, Italy|
|Profession||Medical Doctor, Priest|
|Place of Work||Italy|
|Date of Death||July 5 1539|
|Place of Death||Cremona, Lombardy, Italy|
|Feast Day||July 5|
|Beatification||By Pope Leo XIII on January 3 1890 in Rome|
|Canonization||By Pope Leo XIII on May 15 1897 in Rome|
|Patron Saint of||
Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria Life History
St Anthony Zaccaria was born in Cremona, Lombardy, Italy in 1502. His father was Lazzaro and his mother was Pescaroli Antonia. His family was of the nobility. He was baptized immediately after birth in the Cathedral of Cremona.
His father died when he was two years old. His mother was very compassionate of the poor and wanted to teach her son St Anthony Zaccaria the same compassion for the poor. She, therefore, made him the official distributor of alms.
Anthony Zaccaria attended the Episcopal School next to the Cathedral and later studied philosophy at the University of Pavia. Thereafter, from 1520, he studied medicine at the University of Padua and graduated in 1524. After completing his studies, he practiced as a doctor in Cremona for three years.
After he felt his call to priesthood, he started his priesthood studies in 1527 and received the tonsure and the minor orders on June 6 1528. In 1528 Zaccaria completed his studies in theology in Bologna and was ordained as a priest on February 20 1529 by Bishop Luca di Seriate, titular bishop of Duvno and suffragan of Cardinal Benedetto Accolti in the Chapel of St Joseph. He worked for two years in hospitals and institutions for the poor. In 1530, he went to Milan and joined the Oratory of Eternal Wisdom.
He popularized the Forty-hour solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the adoration and also revived the practice of ringing church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays to commemorate the passion and death of our Lord.
In Milan, he founded three religious orders namely
- The Barnabites (the Clerics Regular of St Paul) for men
- The Angelic Sisters of St Paul (a female branch of uncloistered nuns)
- The Laity of St Paul (Lay congregation for married people). It was initially called the Married of St Paul. In North America it is known as the Oblates of St Paul.
The aim of these religious orders was to reform the degenerated society of that time, starting with the clergy and religious.
The order was named after St Barnabas, the companion of St Paul. The Barnabites congregation was approved canonically on February 18 1533 by Pope Clement VII. The main devotions of the Clerics Regular of St Paul were the emphasis on love for the Christ crucified and the Eucharist and the teachings of Paul of Tarsus.
Anthony Zaccaria, with this order, criticized the abuses and wrongs in the Roman Catholic Church and consequently started to gain enemies. He was investigated twice for heresy, one in 1534 and another in 1537 but was acquitted both times. On August 21 1537, in Milan, Giacomo Filippo Sacchi, the Senate President, issued a full acquittal, the “ex capite innocentiae” on all the charges of heresy leveled against the Paulines.
The Angelic Sisters of St Paul
This order was approved by Pope Paul III on January 15 1535 and on March 4 1537, Zaccaria appointed Paola Antonia Negri Mistress of Novices.
Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria Birth
St Anthony Zaccaria was born in Cremona, Lombardy, Italy in 1502. His father was Lazzaro Pescaroli and his mother was Pescaroli Antonia.
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria Death
St Anthony Zaccaria died of fever at 3 o’clock on Saturday in the afternoon of July 5 1539, at the age of 36 in the house where he was born, in the arms of his mother, surrounded by his first companions. He was buried in the convent of the Angelics of St Paul, the female branch of the Barnabites, in Milan.
27 years later after his death, Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria’s body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt. His remains are now enshrined at the Church of St Barnabas in Milan, Italy.
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria’s feast day is celebrated on July 5 every year in the Catholic Church
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria is the Patron Saint of
- Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul
- The Barnabites
- Laity of St. Paul
Today’s Catholic Quote:
That which God commands seems difficult and a burden. The way is rough; you draw back; you have no desire to follow it. Yet do so and you will attain glory
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