Thomas of Olera (also known as Fra Tommaso or Friar Thomas) lived from 1563 to 1631 and came from Olera in the Lombardian Alps. He was a shepherd boy and the only education he received was imparted to him by his mother in the evening. At the age of 17 he entered the Capuchin Order. He and fellow friars later travelled to North Tyrol to spread the teachings of the Capuchin Order in the German-speaking region. For 30 years Thomas of Olera strove for reconciliation und fought against the split in the Catholic Church. That is why he was given the name Holy Brother of the Tyrol. He is buried in the Capuchin Church in Innsbruck and was beatified in Bergamo on 21 September 2013.
Archduke Ferdinand II (1529-1595) founded the Capuchin Monastery in Innsbruck in 1593. In 1594, Suffragan Bishop Georg Benigni from Bressanone dedicated the church to St. Francis. In 1606, the general district of the Tyrol was elevated to a Province. The archduke had heard of the Capuchins from Rovereto and wanted the friars to settle in Innsbruck. At the same time, the Servites (Order of Friar Servants of Mary) also expanded their community to Innsbruck. It is said that Friar Thomas was in the Alpine town on the river Inn when the Tyrol became a Province. From a political viewpoint, it was a very eventful time due to tensions and religious conflict. Many salt workers from Hall and miners from Schwarz converted to the Protestant faith and accepted the Augsburg Confession. Lutherism spread particularly in the Inn valley. But Catholic beliefs were upheld by the Habsburg regents, nobles loyal to the Emperor, Jesuit priests and the Capuchin friars whose activities soon spread. In the Imperial and Royal House of Secular Canonesses in Hall, founded in 1567 by Archduchess Magdalena (1532-1590), a sister of Emperor Ferdinand II, there lived the two daughters of Archduke Karl II: Maria Christerna (1574-1621) and Eleonora (1582-1620). Friar Thomas wrote several letters to the two ladies, admonishing them to be loyal to their faith and to love God. Brother Thomas also corresponded with the three daughters of Emperor Ferdinand II, Magdalena, Helene and Margareta. He was also on friendly terms with Archduke Leopold V. For him, Friar Thomas was a mystic of the Catholic reformation, a spiritual advisor to the Court in Innsbruck. Leopold and his wife Claudia of Medici allowed the Capuchin friar to come to their residence at any time of the day. The archduke also visited the devout friar in his Spartan monastery cell several times.