Padre Agostino da Montefeltro (1839-1921)
In late nineteenth century Italy one of the great and noted preachers was Padre Agostino da Montefeltro (1839-1921), a Franciscan priest. (above) He was born Luigi Vicini and ordained at the age of 22 years.
Too early probably.
At aged 28 years, he experienced a religious crisis following a relationship with a woman. Eventually three years later he recovered his vocation and entered the Franciscan order and remained an exemplary priest
The high point of his preaching career was from 1886 - 1890 when he delivered the Lenten Sermons in the Cathedral of Florence, In Turin and at the Church of San Carlo al Corso in Rome
The venues were packed. The newspapers reported his sermons. Young ladies fainted during his sermons.
He was applauded and mobbed
Apparently his delivery was fast. He could speak for an hour at the rate of 200 words per minute
He could move people with his rhetoric
Apologetics was his forte. It suited the temper of the times and the society within which he preached, shortly after the Unification of Italy
His sermons in Rome were translated into English and published in New York. They can be accessed here in The Internet Archive
In 1910 after his zenith as a preacher he recorded a record disc of two of his short sermons and you can listen to his voice from the recordings in the French National LIbrary
Another is on Faith
It is fascinating to hear the voice of one who many saw and still see as a saint
The rhetoric is from a past age. There were no microphones.A conversational style was inappropriate
He founded a congregation of sisters which is still in existence: Istituto "Suore Figlie di Nazareth" who are still in Marina di Pisa, near Pisa, Italy
Originally founded to look after orphans, they are still thriving and looking after children
Here is their website and here is a picture from the website showing the sisters around the grave of their founder
Unfortunately the initial attempts at beatification were stopped but the sisters are still hopeful that one day their great founder will one day be beatified
The cause seems to have the support of their Archbishop