The Blessed Antonio Lucci, O.F.M. Conv., (1682–1752) was an Italian Franciscan friar and bishop. Serving as spiritual leader of an impoverished region, he spent his life caring for and improving the lives of his flock. He has been beatified by the Catholic Church.
He was born Angelo Nicola Lucci on 2 August 1682 in Agnone, in the Province of Isernia, on the eastern coast of Italy, then a part of the Kingdom of Sicily. He attended the local school run by the Conventual Franciscans and joined them at the age of 16. He completed his studies for the priesthood in Assisi, where he was ordained in 1705. Further studies led to a doctorate in theology and appointments as professor in Agnone, Ravello and Naples. He also served as Guardian of the friary in Naples.
Lucci was elected Minister Provincial in 1718; the following year he was appointed professor at St. Bonaventure College in Rome, a position he held until Pope Benedict XIII chose him in 1729 as Bishop of Bovino, in the Province of Foggia. The pope explained, "I have chosen as bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint."
Though he had a reputation for being shy and reserved, Lucci's 23 years as bishop were marked by visits to local parishes throughout his diocese and a renewal of gospel living among the people under his care. He dedicated his episcopal income to works of education and charity. At the urging of the Conventual Minister General, Lucci wrote a major book about the saints and blesseds in the first 200 years of the Conventual Franciscan friars.
Lucci studied with and was a close friend of St. Francis Fasani, O.F.M. Conv., who, after Lucci’s death on 25 July 1752, testified at the diocesan hearings regarding the holiness of Lucci's life. Lucci was beatified in June 1989 by Pope John Paul II, three years after Fasani himself had been canonized.
His feast day is observed on 24 July by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Foggia-Bovino (after a merger of the two in the late 20th century) and among the Conventual Franciscans friars.