The latest Paulist Press catalog lists a 176-page book "The Venerable Maria Lorenza Longo," written by Agostino Falanga, O.F.M.Cap., and translated by Ronald Giannone (New Jersey province). It is the biography of Maria Longo (1463-1542), a native of Barcelona and the widow of John Longo, a Spanish diplomat. Her life seemed doomed to one of suffering, until she was miraculously cured at Our Lady's House at Loretto and from that moment on focused her life on serving the poorest of the poor—not unlike Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in our own age. She joined the Secular Franciscan Order and, a group of women joined her in founding the Hospital of Our Lady of the Incurables in Naples. She personally directed this Pious Work of the Incurables for twelve years. The work rapidly expanded, so that when her own health started declining, she understood it was necessary to hand over her charge. Fortunately she met St. Cajetan of Thiene, founder of the Thietines, who encouraged her to found a monastery where she could live with her disciples of the Third Order. Cajetan personally assisted her during this new phase, and on Feb. 19, 1535, Pope Paul III approved the foundation of the Capuchin Poor Clares. For more on this and on St. Joseph Moscati, who was a doctor and researcher at the Hospital for the Incurables 1904-27, click here.
The book sells for $18.95 and will be available after January 1, 2010.