FEBRUARY 18

Blessed John of Fiesole (Fra Angelico) FRIAR AND PRIEST OPTIONAL MEMORIAL (In Lent: AS A COMMEMORATION)

Guido of Vicchio was born in the region of Tuscany in 1386 or 1387 and studied art in Florence while still a young man. Feeling drawn to religious life he entered the Order at the convent of San Domenico in Fiesole. This convent had recently been established as a house of regular observance by Blessed John Dominic whose name he took when he entered. He served as superior of San Domenico, promoted regular observance and handed on the fruits of his contemplation through his paintings for the altars at Fiesole and for the convent of San Marco in Florence. He was called to
Rome by Pope Eugene IV to decorate two chapels, one in the Basilica of St. Peter and one in the Vatican. Pope Nicholas V also commissioned him to decorate his private chapel at the Vatican. His work is also found in the convent of San Domenico in Cortona and the cathedral at Orvieto. Pope Eugene IV wished to appoint him archbishop of Florence, but he declined in favour of Saint Antoninus. On February 18, 1455, he died in Rome at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and was buried there. The special quality of his painting earned him the title "Fra Angelico." He was beatified by Pope John Paul the II and named "Patron of Artists"

PRAYER
God of eternal beauty,
you inspired Fra Angelico
as an artist at the service of your truth.
May we delight in the beauty of his work
and rejoice in the glory of your creation.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Special thanks to the brethren of the Province of Australia for providing the online biography of Bl. Fra Angelico. The text is from the Province of St. Joseph, USA.