Friday, March 6, 2015
Blessed Bartolo Longo, (1841-1926) is very inspiring!
He was a tertiary Dominican. Born on Feb 11, 1841 of wealthy parents, he was raised in a devout Catholic home and practiced his Faith until he attended the University of Naples. There, studying for a law degree, he fell in with others practicing the occult and attended many seances and the like. He became so confused, he left the Faith and was "ordained" as a "priest of Satan". This after a long period of preparation, fasting and mortification. When he was "ordained", he heard thunder strike.... but despite his bad experiences, he continued to talk others into leaving the Faith. Finally, he heard a voice which told him "Return to the Church" and he went to confession and returned to the Lord. His good friend, Vicente Pepes who helped him to return to the church, placed Bartoto in the care of a holy Dominican Friar, Alberto Radente, who helped Bartolo with the final stages of withdrawing from the occult sect. This Friar also introduced him to a group of pious people who cared for the poor, the sick and the needy. A member of this group was a widow, Countess Mariana de Fusco who owned a large tract of land near the ancient city of Pompeii which had been destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in the year, 79 AD and remained buried in ash for almost 2000 years. Blessed Bartolo began helping the poor farmers who worked the fields around there. Realizing his former error and how he had led people away from God's Truth in the church, Longo despaired and became extremely depressed and he almost committed suicide but then he was consoled by the reminder of the Friar Alberto saying that anyone who perpetuated the Devotion of the Holy Rosary will be saved so he began perpetuating devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary and this devotion, distributing Rosaries and teaching people how to pray the Rosary. He also founded a home for orphans. He and the countess eventually got married but lived in celibacy because both had taken vows of celibacy previously.
From his fasting and illness, Bartolo suffered with poor health and digestive problems for the rest of his life. He died in 1926 at the age of 85... and was Beatified by St John Paul II. Blessed Bartolo was not only an attorney and talented writer but also a talented musician who played the flute!
Here are some videos about Blessed Bartolo Longo: