In a world known for its callous disregard for the poor and downtrodden, the example of Angelo Paoli is a refreshing breath of air. Angelo cared so well for his unfortunate brothers and sisters that he was known as “Father Charity” or “Father of the Poor.”
Many Carmelite saints have come from colorful backgrounds, but very few from the highest ranks of the nobility. Frances d’Amboise is one of the exceptions.
How does one write a biography of someone whose known data consists of no more than his initial? The “Brother B” to whom the Carmelite Rule is directed remains shrouded in the mystery of the ages, even though some fanciful stories developed about him, especially during the 14th century.
All things considered, it’s hard to imagine how the Mantuan Reform of Carmel could have produced a finer example of excellence than Battista Spagnoli. During the difficult days before the Protestant Reformation, most religious orders had fallen into a spirit of lethargy and laxity, and in some cases, into frightful abuses.