At the age of forty-four, while praying one day in the church at Loretto, he recognized that his end was near. Immediately he went to the monastery of Agnona in the Abruzzi and exclaimed as he entered, "This is my final resting place." Shortly after, he was stricken with fever, received the last sacraments with deepest fervor, and quietly fell asleep in the Lord.
The Church selects our saint's zeal for prayer and his spirit of penance for emphasis in today's Collect and proposes these two virtues for imitation. "In imitating him, grant that we may make such progress that we may pray without ceasing and constantly have our bodies under subjection." This is not an easy task; the liturgy, therefore, provides the needed assistance, the example of St. Francis, and the holy Eucharist.