The Founder

P. Pancrazio was born in Bari as Nicola Gaudioso, the last of six children, on 15th November 1926.
After the untimely death of his father, Domenico, his family was supported uniquely by the work, as a dressmaker, of his mother Giovanna, who was an exemplary educator and model of self-denial and prayer, not only for her children, but for the women of their surroundings.

The family life was marked by an exceptional design: Anna, the eldest daughter, died after living birth to a girl who would become a Clarisse nun as Sister Teresina in the monastery of Palestrina; the other daughter, Angela, would become Sister Candida in the same monastery where, once her children were all grown up, also the mother would be consecrated with the name of Suor Elisabetta.
Of the four sons, Leonardo is the only one who got married; Giuseppe became a Capuchin friar as Fr. Giocondo, missionary in Mozambique; Vito, after leaving the Marine Army, followed in the steps of his missionary brother as Fr. Giuseppe.
But the first to open the path of a consecrated life was Nicola. However the youngest, he was the first of the brothers to enter the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in Apulia. At the age of 13, on 10th December 1939, the day of Our Lady of Loreto; he was vested as lay brother on 13th May 1942 with the name of Fr. Pancrazio and professed his temporary vows on 19 June 1943 at Alessano, in the province of Lecce. On 23rd November1947 he took his perpetual vows in the Holy House of Loreto, where he had started, a year before, his service in the Sanctuary.
In 1967 he was transferred to the Capuchins’ convent in Bari and in 1969 to Recanati.
In those years he attended the theology course at the Capuchin school of Loreto, in order to become a priest.
On 18th March 1973 he was ordained presbyter in the Sanctuary of Loreto. After some months from the holy orders he was transferred to the Capuchin convent at Civitanova Marche where he remained until 1982, the year of the foundation of the fraternity that was initially named “Casa Betania “ (Bethany House).
Since 1999 P. Pancrazio has been the general superior of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany.