April 6 is the traditional memorial of Blessed Angelo Carletti de Chivasso (+1495)

Born Antonio Carletti at Chivasso, Piedmont in 1411, the child was part of a noble family. Well-educated, he recieved a Doctor of Civil and Canon Law from the University of Bologna. He served as a magistrate. To keep himself spiritually centered, he prayed much and spent time visiting the sick. He was much devoted to the Passion of Christ and to the Blessed Virgin.

After the death of his mother, around the age of 30, Antonio split his belongings between his brother and the poor and entered the order of the Friars Minor (the Franciscans), taking the name Angleo. It was quickly noted that the friars had a very special recruit.

As soon as he was able, he was ordained and set out as a preacher. He consistently went out to the most remote towns, where the poor were found. He visited the sick, begged for them, and set up a type of credit union for them.

Recognizing his background and ability to preach, the Franciscans appointed him to accompany Fra Pietro da Napoli to Austria to reorganize the order there. He was appointed Vicar General of the Cismontane Franciscans in 1472, 1478, 1485 and 1490. Between his stints as Vicar General, he was sent to preach in Manua, Genoa, Cuneo, Suse, Monferrato and Turin, where he preached in front of Charles I, Duke of Savoy. He preached not only to the poor, but was also spiritual counselor to several, including Catherine of Genoa. In addition, through the years, he founded monasteries in Saluzzo, Mondovi and Pinerolo.

When the Ottoman Empire attacked and occupied Otranto, Italy, Pope Sixtus IV, a personal friend, appointed Angelo Apostolic Nuncio and sent him to preach a crusade against the invaders. The citizens took his words to heart and held out against the seige. Eventually the forces left.

In 1486, Angleo published his large work, called the Summa Angelica. This was a dictionary of moral theology, which was well used by confessors. This work was known for its gravity and the fairness of his opinions. It went through a number of editions through the next 40 years.

Five years later, Angelo was again appointed Apostolic Nuncio to preach for a peaceful agreement between the Catholics and the Waldensians, where he achieved many converts.

In the last years of his life, Angelo, now quite old, went back to his first love, visiting the sick and begging for the poor. He died in the convent of St Anthony at Cuneo, ready for the Lord.

How do you help the poor and the sick?