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St. Andrew Avellino

San Andrés Avelino

Born 1521 at Castronuovo (Potenza), a small town in Sicily; died 10 November, 1608. His baptismal name was Lancelotto, which out of love for the cross he changed into Andrew when he entered the Order of Theatines. His parents were
Giovanni and Margherita Apelli. After receiving his elementary training in the school of Castronuovo, he was sent to Venice to pursue a course in the humanities and in philosophy. He went to Naples to study canon and civil law, obtained the degree of Doctor of Laws and was ordained priest at the age of twenty-six, in 1545. For some time he held the office of lawyer at the ecclesiastical court of Naples. He later renounced his profession as ecclesiastical lawyer, having experienced that this professional exercise endangered his spiritual life, and for some time devoted himself entirely to holy meditation and other spiritual exercises.

The Archbishop of Naples now commissioned him to reform a convent at Naples, which by the laxity of its discipline had become a source of great scandal. By his own example and his untiring zeal he restored the religious discipline of the convent but not without many and great difficulties. He resolved to devote himself entirely to God and he entered the Order of Theatines, which had but recently been founded by St. Cajetan. On the vigil of the Assumption he was invested, being then thirty-five years of age.

After completing his novitiate, he obtained permission to visit the tombs of the Apostles and the Martyrs at Rome, and, upon his return was made master of novices. After holding this office ten years he was elected superior. His holy zeal for strict religious discipline, and for the purity of the clergy, as well as his deep humility and sincere piety induced the General of his Order to entrust him with the foundation of two new Theatine houses, one at Milan, the other at Piacenza.

By his efforts many more Theatine houses rose up in various diocese of Italy. As superior of some of these new foundations he was so successful in converting sinners and heretics by his prudence in the direction of souls and by his eloquent preaching, that numerous disciples thronged around him, eager to be under his spiritual guidance. Collaborated with St. Charles Borromeo in the archdiocese of Milan, to implement the reforms of the Council of Trent in this ecclesiastical jurisdiction, by Blessed Paul Burali, in the diocese of Piacenza.

He collaborated with San Carlos Borromeo in the archdiocese of Milan, to apply the reforms of the Council of Trent in this ecclesiastical jurisdiction, doing the same with Blessed Pablo Burali in the diocese of Piacenza. On 10 November, 1608, when beginning theHoly Sacrifice of the Mass, he was stricken with apoplexy, and after devoutly receiving the Holy Viaticum, died the death of a saint at the age of eighty-eight. In 1624, only sixteen years after his death, he was beatified by Urban VIII, and in 1712 was canonized by Clement XI. He isvenerated as patron by Naples and Sicily and invoked especially against a sudden death. His earthly remains lie buried in the Church of St. Paul at Naples.