Founder of the Minor Clerks Regular with St. John Augustine Adorno. He was born in 1563, a member of a noble Neapolitan family. Though he had a rare skin disease, much like leprosy, Francis became a priest, at which time his skin disease disappeared. In 1588, he co-founded the Minor Clerks Regular and spent the rest of his life as the superior. He was canonized in 1807. His cult is now confined to local calendars.
Early Life and Career
St Francis Caracciolo was born in Villa Santa Maria in the Abruzzo region, in the Kingdom of Naples. He belonged to the Pisquizio branch of the Caracciolo family and received in baptism the name of Ascanio. From a young age, he had a reputation for gentleness and uprightness. When he was 22, he was attacked by one of the several skin complaints collectively described as “leprosy” in those days. So serious was this attack that he was considered hopeless. With death so near, he made a vow that if he regained his health, he would spend the rest of his life in the service of God and his fellow men. He recovered so quickly after this vow, that his cure was considered miraculous. Eager to fulfil his promise to God, he went to Naples to study for the priesthood. In 1587 he was ordained priest and joined the confraternity of the Bianchi della Giustizia (The White Robes of Justice), whose object was to assist condemned criminals to die holy deaths.