Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of Bl. Bartholomew Longo

Facts

Feastday: October 5

Birth: 1841

Death: 1926

Beatified By: 26 October 1980 by Pope John Paul II


Also known as Bartolo Longo; Bartolomea Longo; Bartolomeo Longo di Latiano; Brother Rosary; Fratel Rosario; Herald of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Rosary; and Man of Mary. A son of a physician, Longo was born financially well off, and received a good education, both secular and Christian, and attended a Piarist school until age sixteen. Raised in a pious family, they prayed the Rosary together each night. An excellent student, he was skilled in literature, oratory, fencing, dancing, music, and other arts, could play flute and piano, directed a school band; was also known to be restless, and had difficulty sitting through classes. Studied law at the University of Naples where received his degree in 1864, but where he fell into a dissolute and worldly life.

Following a philosophy class taught by a fallen-away priest, Longo moved from indifference to the Church to ridicule, to open hostility. He participated in street demonstrations against the Pope, then dabbled in occult nonsense like magnetism and spiritism, tipping tables and contacting the spirit world through mediums. Burning his bridges, he finally became a Satanist, and with some further study, a Satanist priest.

Bartholomew's family and friends refused to give up on the young man, praying for his return to the faith, and pecking away at his interest in Satan. Vincente Pepe, a respected professor from his home town, convinced him to turn from the occult, and a Dominican friar named Father Albert guided him through his return to the Church in a process we would today call deprogramming. Longo finally recovered his senses and his faith, and became a Dominican tertiary on 25 March 1871, taking the name Fratel Rosario (Brother Rosary).

Bartholomew wanted to do something to make amends for his apostasy, and began preaching against the occult in the places where college students frequented. Father Albert helped him join a group of local lay people working for the poor. Seeing the terrible, grinding poverty that was the lot of most, he wanted to do something to help, and had a sudden inspiration that the Rosary would become the key. He established a shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in the valley of Pompei and used up a discarded painting of Mary under that title. Pilgrims came, miracles occurred, the crowds grew, and the local bishop asked Bartholomew to construct a new church. Work on the church began in 1876, it was dedicated in 1887, given to the papacy on 19 February 1894, was designated a basilica in 1901 by Pope Leo XIII, and today receives about 10,000 pilgrims a day.

Bartholomew and Mariana, the widowed Countess di Fusco, constructed other charitable institutions nearby forming what became known as the City of Charity or City of Mary. To staff the orphanage in the City, Longo founded the Daughters of the Rosary of Pompeii.

He established a trade school for the Sons of the Imprisoned, boys whose fathers were in jail, and placed it under the direction of the Brothers of Christian Schools. The success of the school disproved the contemporary assumption that children of criminals were doomed to be criminals themselves, and in 1922 he established a sister school for the daughters of prisoners.

Because Bartholomew and Mariana worked together so much, gossip developed that they were romantically involved. To prevent their good work from being tainted by this talk, the two married in April 1885, but lived together celibately in keeping with private vows. It was not enough for some, however, and in the first years of this century he was accused of adultery, profiteering, dishonesty, even insanity. In 1906, Pope Saint Pius IX asked Longo to retire as administrator for the good of the City, and he did, handing it over to the papacy, and taking a job in the City as a regular employee. Made a Knight of the Guard Cross of the Holy Sepulcher in 1925.


Bl. Bartholomew Longo Comments



More Saints






Browse Saints by Category


Popular Saints

Rank

Saint

64.

Image of St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580. He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs. Such had been his progress ... continue reading

65.

Image of St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier

FRANCIS XAVIER, ST. (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris 1525, secured his ... continue reading

66.

Image of St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon ... continue reading

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. Jerome Emiliani

St. Jerome Emiliani

Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty dungeon. Only a short time before he had been a military commander for Venice in charge of a fortress. He didn't care much about God because he didn't ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day
February 2016
S M T W T F S
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Abigail

St. Abigail

Irish abbess and disciple of St. Abban. When St. Abban founded a convent in Ballyvourney, County Cork, Ireland, Gobnata was placed in charge. A well there bears her name. continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for St. Agnes of Poitiers

St. Agnes of Poitiers

Abbess and model of the conventual life. Agnes was a friend of the poet Venantius Fortunatus, who visited her in the Holy Cross convent in Poitiers, France. Recognized for her holiness and intelligence, she was named abbess of the convent by St. Radegund, a princess ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. John of Avila

St. John of Avila

The Apostle of Andalusia and the spiritual advisor of St. Teresa, St. Francis Borgia, St. John of the Cross, St. Peter of Alcantara, and others. He was born on January 6, 1499, at Almodovar del Campo, Spain. After studying law at the University of Salamanca, he left ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of St. Agnes is honored with the blessing of two lambs (Wordpress).

Pope Francis continues tradition of blessing two lambs in memory of St. Agnes

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Thursday Pope Francis celebrated St. Agnes' feast day in the Vatican by continuing the centuries-old tradition of blessing two lambs in her honor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Traditionally, the lambs blessed on January 21 are under a year old and their first ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More