St. Rfancis, born in the Kingdom of Naples, was signally pious from his childhood. In his youth he determined to consecrate himself to God and he entered the priesthood at Naples, where he began to exercise his zeal, especially in assisting those condemned to die. By a providential disposition, he joined John Augustine Adorno and Fabricius Caracciolo in founding the Order of the Regular Clerics Minors.
Before his profession, the Saint had borne the name of Ascanio, which he now changed for that of Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Two years later, upon the death of Adorno, he became superior of the Order. To extend his order he traveled three times to Spain, clad as pilgrim and begging his bead along the road.
On these journeys Francis suffered great hardships, but he had the satisfaction of founding several houses in Spain, aided by the liberality of Philip II and his son, Philip III, who succeeded the King in 1598. Such was the charity of the Saint that arriving in Rome he took up his abode in a hospice of the poor and associated with a leper. He breathed his last at Agnone, in the house of the Oratorian Fathers, June 4, 1608, and was canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.
PRAYER: God, You adorned St. Francis, the founder of a new Order, with a zeal for prayer and love for penance. Help Your servants to make such progress by imitating him that by praying unceasingly and bringing their bodies into subjection they may be worthy to attain heavenly glory. Amen.