Thomas Anthony Arbuati
Augustinian Servant of God
Thomas Anthony Arbuati (1673-1746) was a friar of the Order of Saint Augustine noted for the holiness of his life, for his learning and preaching, and for restoring regular religious observance to the Augustinian monastery at Osimo.
Anthony Arbuati was born on November 14, 1673 in Loreto, Ancona, Italy. His parents, Santiago and María Diambra, formed their son in the Christian faith. Fulgencio Travalloni, a former Prior General (world leader) of the Augustinian Order, who lived in Loreto during the time of Anthony's childhood and youth, had a strong influence on the family.
When he was 19, Anthony entered the Order of Saint Augustine, adding the religious name Thomas to his Baptismal name Anthony in memory of the Augustinian saint, Thomas of Villanova. He was ordained a Priest in 1693.
Thomas Anthony continued his studies, earning a Lector's Degree in Theology in 1703. He was named Preacher the same year. (In those times, not all Priests were permitted to preach. Only those who were the most learned in Theology and Sacred Scripture were given the mission of preaching the Gospel.)
Later in 1703, Thomas Anthony was named Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian house in Osimo, which had become somewhat lax in its observance of the Augustinian Rule. There, overcoming great obstacles, he succeeded in restoring regular observance and proper practices of religious community life.
Continuing his studies, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in 1705 and was named Director of Novices in Ancona. He was later sent to other Augustinian monasteries in Livorno, back to Osimo and then to Venice.
Desiring a more contemplative life, without abandoning the apostolate, Thomas Anthony went to the Augustinian hermitage in Terralba, near Padua. He remained there until 1735, when he returned to Osimo.
He died in Osimo on July 27, 1746. His remains are preserved at the Augustinian church there.
As part of the process of beatification and canonization, a diocesan investigation of his life took place in Osimo and Padua from 1766 to 1768. His cause was presented to the Congregation of Rites in 1772. However, one effect of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era was that Thomas Anthony's cause was neglected. Following those troubled times, the causes of Blessed Stephen Bellisini (died 1840) and Joseph Bartholomew Menochio (died 1823) were given greater attention, while the cause of Thomas Anthony was largely forgotten. The Augustinian Postulator of Causes, Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., is now overseeing the resumption of Thomas Anthony's cause.