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Italy Observes 8th Centenary of Franciscan Protomartyrs

Celebration Held in Terni

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Being observed in Terni, Italy, from Monday, January 13 to Sunday, January 19, 2020, is the 8th centenary of the death of the Franciscan Protomartyrs, natives of that city of the region of Umbria.

In 1220, the Minor Friars Bernardo da Calvi, Accursio and Adiuto of Narni, Ottone of Stroncone and Pietro of San Gemini were murdered in Morocco. On seeing their destroyed bodies, the Augustinian Canon Fernando of Lisbon decided to take the Franciscan habit, adopting the name Anthony. Later he would be known as Saint Anthony of Padua, a Saint venerated today not only in Padua, Italy but throughout the world.

Eight hundred years later, the diocese and Franciscan Order are observing this anniversary on the mentioned date, indicated the Diocese of Terni-Nania-Amelia in a note on the same.


 Among the events to commemorate the centenary are a Triduum of preparation, held in several churches of the diocese, from Monday, January 13 to Wednesday, January 15. On Thursday the 16th a Mass will take place in Saint Anthony’s church with the Provincial Minister of the Franciscans, Father Claudio Durighetto and the Franciscan Friars of Umbria.

Planned on Sunday, January 19, in the same place, is the opening of the Franciscan Protomartyrs’ centenary, which will consist of a Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Monsignor Giuseppe Piemontese, Bishop of Terni-Nania-Amelia.

Love and Sacrifice

 According to the mentioned note, many are the aspects that their witness offers today to take advantage of opportunities and to address the challenges of the present. Therefore, one is reminded of the importance to combine love and sacrifice so that the first won’t die out and the second won’t be sterile.

The life of the martyrs also reminds of the way of life of a <genuine> Christian and of every person called to live in gratitude, which is then expressed in the free giving of oneself to others.

Italy and Portugal

 This event is also an opportunity to discover and value the historic, artistic, social patrimony and landscape of the South of Umbria so that the very necessary spiritual, cultural and charitable rebirth will occur.

The 8th centenary of the Franciscan Protomartyrs is being observed only in the territory of Terni; however, there are many places in the world where they are venerated and celebrated, especially in Coimbra, the place where Augustinian Canon Fernando met with them.

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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