The feast of Blessed Antony Grassi of the Fermo Oratory.

The Fermo Oratory was founded with the help of Fr Flaminio Ricci, a member of St Philip’s own community in Rome. It was under Fr Ricci’s direction that the young Vincenzo Grassi came after the death of his father. He went on to join the Fermo Oratory, taking the name Antony, and lived the Oratorian life with great edification for 62 years until his death in 1671.

He was known for his gentleness of manner, love of the poor and compassion as a confessor. In the Jubilee Year of 1625, he visited the sites in Rome associated with St Philip and spoke of him with Pietro Consolini, one of the saint’s surviving disciples at the Roman Oratory. On his return to Fermo, Bl Antony was elected Superior for 36 years. His reputation for holiness endured through the centuries and even outlived the Fermo Oratory’s suppression by the anti-clerical Italian government in 1860. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1900.

Blessed Antony, pray for us!