Blessed Marco da Montegallo

Marco da Montegallo was born in 1425 in Montegallo, Italy  His father was a nobleman. He earned his doctorate in both law and medicine.  In 1448, he began working as a doctor before he had been pressured into marriage in 1451.  He and his wife annulled their marriage, then both entered the religious life. He became a Franciscan and a member of the Order of Friars Minor.  She joined the Poor Clares as a nun.  Marco was ordained to the priesthood sometime in the 1450s and was at once made the superior of Santa Maria de San Severino and he held that position from 1454 to 1455.  Then he heard a voice say go brother Marco and preach about love.” 

He and Bernardine of Feltre established charitable pawnshops for the poor.  To help the poor with loans he created a bank which was completed in just twelve months after he received funds to create it.  It was next to the Franciscan’s house.  Soon other banks and hospitals were established, and his friends began founding other pawnshops

He preached across several Italian cities.  In 1494, he published a book and another in 1495.  The plague was devastating the area.  He assured the people that it would stop if all the people repented from their sins and confess.  People sought him out to confess.  The plague epidemic stopped.  In 1480,   Pope Sixtus IV appointed him to be the promoter and collector of tithes for the crusade against the Ottoman Empire.

The priest was fasting for  Lent in 1496, In the middle of the Lenten season grew ill. On his deathbed, he asked a friend to provide him with the sacraments for the final time and asked another to read him the words: “He bowed His head and gave up the ghost” when he died. On March 19, 1496.  The popular devotion to him allowed for Pope Gregory XVI to issue a decree that conferred beatified him on September 20, 1839.  His feast is not celebrated on the date of his death as is the norm but rather on March 20 because March 19 is the feast of Saint Joseph.