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Friday, 02 December 2022 14:12

Blessed Bartolome Fanti

5 December Optional Memorial

His date of birth is unknown. Already a priest of the Mantuan Congregation of the Carmelites, which had been approved by the pope ten years earlier, Bartolome joined the confraternity of the Virgin that existed in the church of Carmel. On January 1, 1460, he assumed the office of spiritual father and restorer of the group. He took his assignment to the confraternity seriously. He wrote its rule and statutes. Until his death 35 years later, it is known that he dedicated himself almost entirely to this ministry.

In artwork he is usually shown with a group of novices to whom he speaks fervently of the Holy Eucharist. This was, in fact, his particular devotion along with devotion to the Blessed Virgin to whom he also professed a very tender devotion. The tradition that Bl. Bautista Spagnoli was Fanti's novice appears to have no basis in fact: Fanti appears to never have held the office of Master of Novices and Baptista Spagnoli made his novitiate year in Ferrara and not in Mantua.

The rule written by Fanti for the confraternity is in twelve short chapters. It is very simple and concise, and its style resembles the rule given by St. Albert to the first Carmelites on Mount Carmel. He also wrote the statutes of the Confraternity of Carmel and created a register of notable events. One can find these writings, along with an exhaustive introductory examination, in the 1957 Ephemerides Carmeliticae.

In 1516 the Blessed’s body was transferred from its tomb in the church to the Chapel of the Virgin, and in 1598 it was placed under the altar. When in 1783 the convent was suppressed, his remains were transferred to St. Mark's and from there, almost ten years later, to the cathedral where they are still preserved, in an incorrupt form, in the Chapel of the Crowned Virgin. The decree of confirmation of his cult was ratified by St. Pius X on March 18, 1909. His feast is celebrated on December 5.

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