Blessed Carcano

Beato Carcano
Born in Milan in 1427, son of Donato and Cremondina Besozzi – descendants of Milanese noble families – he entered the Franciscan Order in the convent of Santa Croce in Boscaglia in Como, probably driven by the sermons of San Bernardino da Siena, pronounced in Milan in 1442-43. Being very few the documents left about the Carcano’s preaching in Vulgar, it is difficult to clarify its features: it is possible to say, however, that both the suggested arguments and the exposition method were directly linked to his voluminous Latin sermon books (in which it is clear the deep influence of the works and preachings of Bernardino da Siena), and in which about 550 sermons are collected – farraginous accumulations of preaching material almost entirely written before 1468. The Blessed was a typical example of the second generation of popular preachers of Franciscan Order, who paired the moral preaching – started by Bernardino – with social action. His name is also linked with the building, in 1462, of the first Mount of piety, in Perugia, where he arrived on the 23rd February on invitation by Ermolao Barbaro. Ermolao, Bishop of Verona and, for a little more than one year, governor of the city, probably wanted him to preach against Hebrew usurers. As the other renowned preachers at the time, he repeatedly preached on behalf of the cause. Despite having been banished, in 1471, from the Duchy of Milan by Galeazzo Maria Sforza, in 1473 he was elected guardian of the S. Angelo Convent in Milan, and in 1475 provincial vicar of the Observants. Blessed Carcano died in Lodi on the 20th March 1484, while he was preaching Lent, after having been suddenly taken ill.