Monday, 22 February 2010

Archbishop Celestine Coclé, C.SS.R. (1783-1857)

Born in 1783 at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, Father Coclé, after brilliant theological studies, distinguished himself as a Missioner by preaching the Gospel in numerous towns and villages of the Kingdom of Naples. He exercised successively the charges of professor, Rector of the Monastery at Pagani and Consultor General. Finally he was elected as Redemptorist Rector Major at the Chapter of 1824, taking the place of the Most Reverend Father Nicolas Mansione (4 June, 1824).

His discourses, circulars and acts all tended to promote efficaciously the spirit and works of St. Alphonsus in the heart of the Institute. He was particularly zealous in regular observance, the promotion of the studies and the attention he gave to preserving the proper character of Missions.

In 1831, at the request of King Ferdinand II and under the formal obedience of Pope Gregory XVI, Most Reverend Fr. Coclé was named confessor to the Neapolitan Court, consecrated as titular Archbishop of Patras and had to give up his post as Rector Major.

As personal advisor to the King he had the honour of incurring the wrath of the sectarians, who pursued him and obliged him, in 1847, to leave the Kingdom of Naples and take refuge in Malta.

Archbishop Coclé died at the Redemptorist Monastery at Naples on 1 March, 1857, in the 56th year of his Redemptorist Vows having made his profession on 21 November, 1800 at the age of 17.

Before his death he, who had worked so hard for the canonization of St. Alphonsus, had the honour of placing the Saint amongst the patrons of the City of Naples. †

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