Blessed Angelo Paoli was born on 1st September 1642 in the small Italian town of Argigliano in Tuscany. He joined the Carmelite Order at Fivizzano in 1660 and was sent to Siena for his novitiate. He studied philosophy and theology at Pisa and Florence where he celebrated his first Mass in 1667. In Tuscany he served the Order in various roles, including Master of Novices, Organist and Sacristan. He was known as a man of deep prayer and compassion.
In 1687 the Prior General of the Order called Angelo to Rome, where he was part of the reform movement centred at the Church of San Martino ai Monti (St. Martin of the Hills). Here he served in various roles, but excelled in works of charity, caring for the sick and the destitute, living up to his nickname of "Father of the Poor". He worked to develop the hospitals of Rome and established a hospice for the convalescent poor. His motto was: "Whoever loves God must go to find God among the poor". He also inspired many others to help the needy.
He had an outstanding trust in divine providence, which he used to call his "pantry where nothing is ever wanting", and several witnesses record his miraculous multiplication of food.
Angelo had a great love of the cross, and erected the public cross at the Colosseum and elsewhere.
Angelo died on 20th January 1720 and was buried in the Church of San Martino ai Monti. His reputation for holiness has endured the centuries, and Angelo was beatified on 25th April 2010.
- The Prior General's letter to the Carmelite Family on the occasion of the beatification of Father Angelo Paoli.