Thomas of Cori
|Saint Thomas of Cori, O.F.M.|
|Religious and priest|
|Born||4 June 1655
Cori, Province of Rome,
|Died||11 January 1729 (aged 73)
Civitella, Province of Rome,
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church
(Order of Friars Minor & the (Province of Rome)
|Canonized||21 November 1999 by Pope John Paul II|
|Attributes||Friar Minor pointing to a crucifix in his hand|
|Patronage||Sublacense region & the Province of Rome|
Thomas of Cori, O.F.M., (1655-11 January 1729) was an Italian Friar Minor who lived as a hermit for much of his religious life. At the same time, he gained fame as a preacher throughout the region where his hermitage was located. For this, he has become known as the Apostle of the Sublacense region of Italy and is honored as a co-patron saint of the Province of Rome. He has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church.
Thomas born into a poor family on 4 June 1655 in the town of Cori, now in the Province of Latina but then still part of the Province of Rome, part of the Papal States. Growing up he earned a living as a shepherd. A pious child, he had come to know the community of Franciscan friars in his village. By the age of 14 both his parents had died. It was therefore his responsibility to take care of his two sisters and to find them husbands. He always had a strong devotion to God and so, after they were married, he quickly chose to enter consecrated life as a friar.
In 1683, after completing his studies, Thomas was ordained a priest. He was immediately appointed as the assistant master of novices in Orvieto. He soon became aware of the hermit life which was re-emerging in the Order during that period and joined a hermitage in Civitella (today Bellegra), where he lived until his death, except for six years in which he was the guardian of a hermitage he founded in Palombara, modeled after the one in Civitella.
Thomas followed the model of hermit life established by the founder of his Order, St. Francis of Assisi, in that he did not stay enclosed within the hermitage, but would go out preaching in the small villages throughout the region. He became known for his simple, clear style of preaching the Gospel, and came to be called the Apostle of the surrounding Sublacense region.
Thomas was known during his lifetime as a man of deep prayer, often spending the night in the friary chapel in prayer. He maintained a spirit of tranquility, despite feeling a deep spiritual dryness for most of his adult life. He died in his sleep in Civitella on 11 January 1729.