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Bl. Mark Fantucci
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At the age of twenty-six, Mark Fantucci, of Bologna, Italy, the university-educated sole heir to a family fortune, renounced a promising future in the world to become a friar of the Franciscan Observants. He received the friars' habit at the age of twenty-six on the feast day of his patron saint, Mark the Evangelist. As a Franciscan priest, Father Mark moved so many sinners to conversion that he was granted permission to preach outside the particular Franciscan province to which he belonged.He served three terms as vicar general of the Franciscan Observants, renewing the faithful, exact observance of the Franciscan rule. He vigorously opposed a Bosnian king's plan to force his subjects to pay a tithe for the Franciscan friaries. It was while giving Lenten sermons in Piacenza in 1479 that Father Mark fell sick with his final illness. Humbly calling himself "a great sinner," he asked the superior of the Franciscan friary near Piacenza to lodge him. He died soon afterward during Holy Week.
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