Bl Thomas of Florence; St Wolfgang; St Quintinus
by americancatholic.org | Source: americancatholic.org
The son of a butcher in Florence, Thomas led such a wild life for a time that
parents warned their sons to stay away from him. A rich man in town befriended him and led him
deeper into depravity. Accused of a serious crime that he had not committed, Thomas went to his
friend for protection. The man would not even see him and told him to stay away. Crushed, Thomas
wandered the streets until he met a priest who listened to his story and took Thomas into his home.
Ultimately, he was able to get Thomas declared innocent of the crime.
Thomas broke off his
former associations and began to lead a life of prayer and penance. Filled with grace, he asked to
be admitted to a Franciscan friary as a lay brother. He went on to become a model friar, fasting,
keeping vigils, disciplining himself. He wore the cast-off clothes of his brothers. He was
frequently wrapped in ecstasy. Though he was never ordained a priest and remained content to serve
as a lay brother, Thomas was appointed novice master. Many young men followed in his path of
Thomas founded numerous convents of friars in southern Italy. And Pope Martin V
called upon him to preach against the Fraticelli, a branch of heretical Franciscans. He was also
asked to go to the Orient to promote the reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches. There he was
imprisoned and expected to receive the crown of martyrdom. But the pope ransomed him for a large sum
of money. Thomas returned to Italy and died on a journey to Rome, where he had hoped to receive
permission to return to the Orient.
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