A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, July 05, 2004

From Doctor to Disreputable to...

Anthony’s father died when he was two, leaving his mother to raise him alone, but he went on to graduate from medical school and to work as a doctor in his home town, which was suffering from outbreaks of disease and the aftereffects of various troubles.

Anthony, however, felt what he was doing wasn’t enough: the people needed more. After three years as a doctor, he began to study for the priesthood.

It was not a step up. Catholic priests were not held in high regard. Catholicism in that time and place had become disreputable in the eyes of many, but Anthony saw the situation as a challenge that he was called to meet.

He gathered a group of like-minded, devout priests around him and threw himself into the work of caring for the sick, helping the poor, preaching in the streets, and reforming religious houses. The Order he founded, known as the Barnabites, was endorsed by the Pope in less than five years and would spread across the globe.

Having done so much in a short time, St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria himself died in 1539 at the age of 37.