SAINTS

MARCH 28: ST. VENTURINO OF BERGAMO

(1304-1346)

Venturino was born at Bergamo and joined the Order of Friars Preachers on Jan. 22, 1319. By 1335 he became famous preaching in all the cities of northern Italy.

In 1335, he planned to make a penitential pilgrimage to Rome with about 30,000 of his converts. Pope Benedict XII, then residing at Avignon, thought that Venturino had intentions to make himself pope.

The pope wrote letters to Giovanni Pagnotti, bishop of Anagni, his spiritual vicar, to the Canons of St. Peter’s and St. John Lateran’s, and to the Roman senators empowering them to stop the pilgrimage.

The pope’s letters and commands, however, did not reach Venturino, and he arrived in Rome on March 21, 1335. He was well received and preached in various churches. Twelve days later he left Rome, without explanation, and the pilgrimage ended in disorder.

In June, he requested an audience with Benedict XII at Avignon where he was seized and cast into prison (1335–43). He was restored to favor by Pope Clement VI, who appointed him to preach a crusade against the Turks in 1344.

Venturino’s success was remarkable. He urged the pope to appoint Humbert II of Dauphiné, whose friend and spiritual adviser he had been, leader of the crusade, but Humbert proved unfit for the task and the crusade came to nothing. Venturino’s writings consist of sermons (now lost) and letters. He died at Smyrna.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: Online, C. (n.d.-b). St. Venturino of Bergamo – Saints & Angels. Catholic Online. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1944