St. Michael by Fr. Michael DeAngelis, CRM

This past summer, Br. Ryan, who is studying in Rome, spent time working in the general archives of the Order, a treasure trove of information and artifacts. Here, through a series of posts beginning today, one of the principal feasts of the Order, that of St. Michael, he shares with you some interesting facts and pictures pertaining to the CRM which he has gained through conversations and research during his time in the Eternal City.

The Tomb of Ven. Agostino Adorno who died on the feast of St. Michael, 1591.

1. The Clerics Regular Minor were once known as the religious of St. Michael because of the strong devotion they had to the Archangel, especially in Catania, where the Order had custody of a church dedicated to the Saint. Already in the late 1600’s, the chaplet of St. Michael was a widely diffused devotion within the Order. Here in Rome, the center of devotion to St. Michael is the Order’s church of Sant’ Angelo in Pescheria. This church was given to the Order in exchange for the Church of San Lorenzo in Lucina in the early 1900’s (“A great injustice has been done to the Caracciolini,” as Pope St. Pius X is reported to have said about the exchange). Devotions to St. Michael are held every first monday of the month at Sant’ Angelo. Also, the Venerable Agostino Adorno, considered as the first founder of the Order, died (today) on the feast of the Prince of the heavenly hosts.

The Chapter Fathers of the 48th General Chapter of the Clerics Regular Minor in 1925

2. The Order of the Clerics Regular Minor (Adorno Fathers) once numbered in the thousands. Fr. Mario Salon, former Superior General of the Order, in his introduction to Piselli’s Storia dei Chierici Regolari Minori, lists the possible sum of the Institute’s religious to be more than 10,000. History, particularly the 19th century, has taken its toll on the Order; at one time leaving only ten religious! Today, the Order continues to grow as they continue to trust in the promise made by Mary Immaculate to Ven. Agostino Adorno: that his religious family would forever remain under her motherly care.

The Chapter Fathers of the General Chapter of 2012

3. The Clerics Regular Minor profess solemnly a fourth vow not to seek ecclesiastical dignities. Despite this fact, in the Order’s history, 19 religious of the Order have been obliged by the Pope to the Episcopate. One of these was to be the first bishop of a diocese in America but died as he was crossing the Atlantic. Among the collection of portraits of the past superiors general of the Order, several can be seen with a miter in the background.
Stay tuned for the next install of Br. Ryan’s series, Did You Know, for more interesting facts about the CRM.