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Ven. Louis of Casoria
Friar Minor and founder of the Frati Bigi; b. at Casoria, near Naples, 11 March, 1814; d. at Pausilippo, 30 March, 1885. His name in the world was Archangelo Palmentiere. On 1 July, 1832, he entered the Order of Friars Minor, and shortly after the completion of the year's novitiate was appointed to teach philosophy and mathematics in the Franciscan convent of San Pietro in Naples. Following the advice of his superiors, he instituted a branch of the Third Order at San Pietro from the members of which he formed later a religious institute, commonly known as the Frati Bigi on account of the grayish or ashen colour of their habits. Louis instituted likewise a congregation of religious women, known as the Suore Bigie, whom he placed under the protection of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. About the year 1852 he opened a school for the education of African boys and girls redeemed from slavery. Ten years before his death he was attacked with a serious and painful illness, from which he never completely recovered. The numerous works of charity in Naples, Rome, Assisi, and Florence which owe their origin to Louis of Casoria, as well as the fame for sanctity which he enjoyed even during his lifetime, account for the veneration in which he was held by all classes, high and low alike. The cause of his beatification was introduced in Rome in 1907.
Acta Ordinis Minorum (May, 1907), 156-158; The Catholic World (November, 1895), 155-166; Voce di Sant' Antonio (July, 1907), 23-26.
STEPHEN M. DONOVAN