St. Venturino of Bergamo (28 JULY)


He was born at Bergamo, and received the habit of the Order of Friars Preachers at the convent of St. Stephen, Bergamo, 22 January 1319. From 1328 to 1335 he won fame preaching in all the cities of upper Italy.[1]

In February, 1335, he planned to make a penitential pilgrimage to Rome with about thirty thousand of his converts. His purpose was misunderstood, and Pope Benedict XII, then residing atAvignon, thought that Venturino wished to make himself pope. He 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.[1]

This complaint to the Dominican Master General resulted in an ordinance of the Chapter of London (1335) condemning such pilgrimages. The pope’s letters and commands, however, did not reach Venturino, and he arrived in Rome, 21 March 1335. He was well received, and preached in various churches. Twelve days later he left Rome, without explanation, and the pilgrimage ended in disorder.[1]

In June, he requested an audience with Benedict XII at Avignon; he was seized and cast into prison (1335–43). He was restored to favour by Pope Clement VI, who appointed him to preach a crusade against the Turks, 4 January 1344; his 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 incapable and the crusade came to nothing. Venturino’s writings consist of sermons (now lost) and letters. He died at Smyrna.St. Venturino of BergamoSt. Venturino of Bergamo

We fulfil the following appeal from evangelium vitae St.John Paul2

100.In this great endeavour to create a new culture of life we are inspired and
sustained by the confidence that comes from knowing that the Gospel of
life, like the Kingdom of God itself, is growing and producing abundant
fruit (cf. Mk 4:26-29). There is certainly an enormous disparity between
the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the “culture of
death” and the means at the disposal of those working for a “culture of life
and love”. But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for whom
nothing is impossible (cf. Mt 19:26).
Filled with this certainty, and moved by profound concern for the destiny
of every man and woman, I repeat what I said to those families who carry
out their challenging mission amid so many difficulties:135 a great prayer
for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the
world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned
plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian
community, from every group and association, from every family and from
the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example
that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the

135 Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Letter to Families Gratissimam sane (2 February 1994), 5: AAS
86 (1994), 872.