There was much to celebrate in St. Leonard last Sunday, as Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish joyfully welcomed Archbishop Christian Lépine to celebrate Mass and bless the image of newly canonized Saint Angelo d’Acri (1669-1739).

As soon as she found out that Pope Francis had canonized Lucantonio Falcone, better known as Angelo d'Acri, Michelina Lavoratore, who organized the festivities surrounding this official blessing, asked her parish priest, Rinaldo Vecchiato, if they could do something to highlight this event within the parish.

"Our parish priest instantly accepted. He is so generous and always makes time for us, and he is open to the devotion to the saints - In fact, this is why he created the "Chapel of the Saints" in our church."  

Angelo d'Acri (celebrated on October 30) was born in Calabria into a poor family. After much hesitation, he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. In his homily, Most Reverend Christian Lépine focused on Angelo d'Acri's "hesitation," "doubts" and "fears."

Most Rev. Lépine began his homily with great honesty: "I have to confess, I didn't know who Saint Angelo d'Acri was until I found out I was coming here today. I then learned about him, and I have to say that what touched me the most about this man was his fragility, his profound humanity. He was a man of doubt. Before finally joining the Capuchin Friars, he had made two attempts without following through. He was in doubt about his vocation; he wasn't sure about anything. He had many questions... But his thirst for God was great, and his faith in Jesus was unwavering. This man is an example for us all, because it isn't easy for anyone to fully assume one's vocation, regardless of its state: celibacy, religious life or marriage."  

Following the Mass, a light snack that included delectable Italian pastries was served in the church basement to give the parishioners an opportunity to greet the Archbishop.  

I slipped away to visit the Cappella dei Santi to enable you to get a glimpse of it, even if only by means of a picture.

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