On October 31, 2018, on the 100th anniversary of his death, Friar Antonio MANSI was declared a Servant of God. He was born in London on May 9, 1896, and died at the headquarters of the Seraphic International College on Via San Teodoro al Palatino in Rome.
The decree was signed by His Eminence, Angelo Cardinal DE DONATIS, Pope Francis’ Vicar for the Diocese of Rome. On October 30-31, to celebrate the news, the friar community of Ravello, of the Conventual Franciscan Province of the Seraphic Father St. Francis in Italy (Naples); the Mansi family, and the ecclesial and civil community commemorated one of the Amalfi Coast’s most illustrious sons during October 30-31. Friar Antonio MANSI along with Friar Massimiliano Maria KOLBE and five other confreres founded the Marian movement of the Militia of the Immaculate on October 16, 1917.
In Ravello, on Tuesday, October 30, an exhibition was set up in the hall of the library of San Francesco: Writings and Signatures of Friar Antonio Mansi, produced by Friar Francesco CAPOBIANCO and Salvatore AMATO. On the first day of the celebrations, there was a significantly large representation of the Militia of the Immaculate from Campania and Basilicata, Italy. A prayer gathering began in the library hall and was continued at the tomb of Friar Antonio. He has been buried there since 2004, after a long stay at the Verano cemetery in Rome. Now he reposes at the Bonaventurian Franciscan shrine in Ravello. The prayer leader was Friar Mauro DE FILIPPIS DELFICO, the National Assistant for the Militia of the Immaculate. The Most Reverend Angelo SPINILLO, Bishop of Aversa, Italy, concluded with a brief meditation on St. Maximilian.
In the afternoon, a presentation of the book by Friar Gianfranco GRIECO took place: “The Eldest Son: the Life of Friar Antonio Mansi” (Publication Miscellanea Francescana, page 304, Rome, 2018). Friar Giorgio TUFANO, Provincial Secretary, made some opening comments. He was representing the Minister Provincial, Friar Cosimo ANTONINO. Friar Cosimo was in Siena for the funeral of Friar Paolo PRIMAVERA. Another speaker was Dr. Natalia PINTO, the councilor in charge of social services, education and marital status for the municipality of Ravello.
Others speaking about Friar Gianfranco GRIECO’s book included, Salvatore AMATO, a historian and archivist; Angelo SCELZO, a journalist and writer; Benito CORRADINI, the President of the “La Sponda” Academy; and Luca Caruso, spokesman for the Benedict XVI Foundation. Friar Gianfranco explained the historical, spiritual and cultural motivations of the book and talked about the personality of Friar Antonio MANSI. He feels Friar Antonio deserves to be known, loved and talked about.
A Mass was presided over by the Most Reverend Orazio SORICELLI, Archbishop of Amalfi-Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy.
The next day, Wednesday, October 31, the Minister Provincial, Friar Cosimo ANTONINO, presided over Mass attended by many relatives of the new Servant of God as well as the faithful of the city of Ravello.
The historic day ended with fireworks. It was a “party in the heavens” for Friar Antonio Mansi and for the inhabitants of the divine coast on high.
Fra Gianfranco GRIECO