Novena to St. Ludovico of Casoria
The feast day of St. Ludovico of Casoria is on June 17th of every year. It is a Catholic tradition that nine days prior to the feast day of a saint or a religious celebration, a novena will be held. Today, June 8th, 2021 is the first-day novena in honor of St. Ludovico of Casoria. The novena goes from June 8, 2021, to June 16th, 2021. We, the Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth invite you to join us by following our posts on the school Facebook page. On this nine-day novena, we will share with you, the beautiful and inspirational thoughts of St. Ludovico of Casoria. God bless you.
O Lord, Almighty God, Father of life, let us deliver our hopes and prayers to your merciful heart (ask for the desired intercession or grace in your heart); through the intercession of St. Ludovico of Casoria, look kindly on your children and answer our humble prayers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
"Every Day with St. Ludovico of Casoria"
St. Ludovico of Casoria was born in Casoria, Naples, Italy on March 11, 1814. His name was Archangelo. His parents were Vincent and Candida Palmentieri. At the age of thirteen, Archangelo was sent to a carpentry workshop in Naples.
On June 17, 1832, at the age of 18, Archangelo was admitted to the novitiate of the Franciscan Friars Minor (OFM) in San John of Palco at Lauro in Nola. On this day, Archangelo changed his name and was henceforth called Ludovico. On June 4, 1837, at the age of 23, Ludovico was ordained a priest.
St. Ludovico showed remarkable interest in the sciences, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. He was granted a teaching position in philosophy and mathematics in schools of his order.
When Father Ludovico was 33 years old he had a life-changing experience. According to him, this experience was a "rebirth" to a new life. He told his students, "I want to imitate St. Francis". Up to this point in his life. Father Ludovico had only read and meditated on the words of St. Paul. Now he made St. Paul's message to the Philippians his own: "What I considered a gain for me, I considered it a loss for the love of Christ" (Phil. 3:7). Thus, Father Ludovico retreated from teaching and social life and wanted to embrace an eremitical life.
On November 2, 1854, Father Ludovico met a Fr. Nicolo Olivieri of the Missionary of Genoa whose work is in favor of freeing the African boys and girls. Inspired by this meeting, Father Ludovico acquired permission from the government to establish a boarding school for African children.
On April 17, 1857, Father Ludovico left for Egypt. Being in Africa, Father Ludovico visited the Holy Land. Father Ludovico returned to Italy with twelve African boys.
Father Ludovico needed stable helpers who would dedicate their physical and spiritual presence day and night to his works. Therefore, in 1859, Father Ludovico founded a male religious community of Friars called "Bigi" by the color of the habit or in English, "Gray". Their formal name was the Friars of Charity.
In 1862, Father Ludovico founded the Franciscan Sisters of St Elizabeth also known as Bigie. The first two teachers who joined Father Ludovico were Margherita Salatino and Concetta Durelli. They began to live as a community. Soon, other teachers followed and joined the community. The sisters of the new institute were called Elisabettine (Sisters of St. Elizabeth) because Father Ludovico placed them under the protection of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.