Saint of the Day – 28 March – Blessed Conon of Naso (1139-1236) Monk, Hermit and Abbot of the order of St Basil of Caesarea, miracle-worker – born on 3 June 1139 in Naso, Messina, Italy and died on Friday 28 March 1236 in the cave of San Michele near Naso, Italy of natural causes, while in prayer. Patronages – against ear problems, against nose problems, of Naso and San Cono, Italy.
Blessed Conon was the son of a count from Naso, Italy and was a wealthy nobleman. He was a devout young man and at the age of 15 he became a Monk and lived as a Hermit and later was appointed as the Abbot of the Monastery. When his parents died, he distributed his inheritance to the poor.
While on pilgrimage to Jerusalem he had a vision of a Priest he knew, being choked by a snake. Months later, upon his return home to Sicily, Conon told the Priest about the dream. Feeling the pangs of a guilty conscience, the Priest instantly confessed to Conon that he had been stealing funds from the Church and using the money for his own selfish desires. Under Conan’s direction the Priest gave his excessive savings to the poor and recommitted his life to serving others.
Blessed Conan died on Friday 28 March 1236. On that day, the bells in the town of Naso began ringing on their own. The locals went to the holy man to ask him why it was happening but they found him dead and believed that the bells were ringing to announce his passing. Conon was immediately hailed as a miracle worker.
In 1571, over three centuries after Conon’s death, the city of Naso was struck with storms that destroyed crops and stopped shipping trade. The people thereupon, invoked the intercession of Conon. The famine became severe and Conon appeared in a vision to a captain who was transporting grain. He instructed the captain to change his course and deliver the grain to Naso. The captain obeyed and arrived in Naso and relieved it of its famine. Thus, the people of Naso were saved and this miracle has never been forgotten in Naso, where the people still today venerate Blessed Conon and celebrate his Feast with great devotion.
Blessed Conon was Beatified in 1630 by Pope Urban VIII (cultus confirmation).