The simple humility and obedience of St. Egidio Maria, born Francis Pontillo in 1729, are virtues sorely needed in today’s world. At age 25 he responded to God’s call to be a discalced friar in Naples. He hoped to become a priest, but he did not have the necessary education and instead consented to enter the order as a lay brother.
As gatekeeper to his monastery, he began vigorously attending to the needs of all those who came to the monastery seeking help. In his own time he became famous for helping the diseased and poverty-stricken folk of the region, and when he died massive throngs of people attended his funeral.
He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1996.