Who is Blessed Bartolo Longo? He was an Italian lawyer who had been a Satanic priest before turning to the Catholic faith. Eventually, he became a Dominican monk and dedicated his life to praying the Rosary and worshipping the Virgin Mary. He later received a call to become a priest, and the rest is history. If you wonder who Blessed Bartolo Longo is, here’s a brief history.
Born in 1841, Bartolo was raised in a highly Catholic home but became a Satanic priest when he was a teenager. He fell into this sin after his mother died. When he enrolled at the University of Naples, he fell into a spiral of evil, involving himself in seances and fortune-telling parties. In purging himself of his pagan past, he became a priest.
Longo turned to the Virgin Mary, a lawyer by profession, and began a famous missionary. He also promoted the Marian image. His friend Father Radiate, a confessor, had given him the painting. Longo took it with him from Naples on a manure wagon, and the Marian image quickly became a symbol of his life’s struggles. The priests of Pompeii eventually crowned him a saint in 1926, and Longo’s story reveals the role of the Catholic press and charity in evangelization.
Although he was born a Roman Catholic, the Pope had many difficulties at this time. The Italian Catholic Church was undergoing an intense nationalistic period. General Giuseppe Garibaldi regarded the Pope as an enemy of the nation and campaigned to remove the papal office. There was also growing popularity of occultism and Spiritualism, and Longo was fascinated with both. Longo studied law during his university years, even though he claimed to be ordained by Satan.
After ordination, Bartolo feared that his soul would become enslaved to Satan. His thirst for the supernatural drove him to denial of God. He was even led to Satan’s brigade as a high priest. He performed black masses and publicly ridiculed the Catholic faith during his time with the devil. This left him ill, and his family was compelled to find a solution.
The Blessed Bartolo Longo had an exciting life. He was born into a well-off family near Brindisi, and his parents were devout Roman Catholics. However, his mother remarried a lawyer in 1851. His stepfather wanted him to become a teacher, but Bartolo’s mother had other plans for him. Countess Marianna Farnararararo De Fusco encouraged him to study law instead.
In 1871, Bartolo was a wayward member of the Longo family. He had heard the voice of his dead father and decided to find him. He was referred to a friend, Vincenzo Pepe, a Dominican priest who taught in Naples. The Dominican priest welcomed Bartolo back into the Church and gave him absolution. He also taught people about the Rosary, which became his life’s work.