Saint of the Day – 14 January – Blessed Odo of Novara O.Cart. (c 1105-1200) Priest, Carthusian, Prior – born in c 1105 at Novara, Italy and died in 1200 at Tagliacozzo, Italy of natural causes, aged around 94. Patronages – Tagliacozzo.
Of the period of his life prior to his settling in Tagliacozzo, that is around 1190, there is uncertain information, so much so, that various attempts have been made with specialised publications to restore order to the most contrasting points of his ‘Life.’
He was born in Novara in c 1105, was professed Carthusian at Casotto or at the Grande Chartreuse, was sent to the Charterhouse of Seitz (in Yugoslavia) in the period of its foundation (1160) where he remained until 1189 writing the Sermons, then in 1189 he arrived at the Charterhouse di Gyrio (now Jurklo_ter near La_ko in Yugoslavia) founded in 1169, with the office of Prior, it is assumed, however, that he arrived some time earlier, sent by the Pope from the Carthusian monastery of Casotto.
His priory did not last long. In the same year, at the latest in 1190, due to administrative differences that arose among the Monks, he left for Rome to ask Pope Clement III for justice; the local Bishop took advantage of these differences and expelled the Monks in a period that lasted nine years.
From Rome, he moved to Tagliacozzo and from here on, his life is all documented. The Abbess of the Benedictines of the Monastery of Sts Cosmas and Damian, a relative of the Pope, asked the Pontiff for a real approval of the work of Blessed Odo. Documents describe the blessed as a Monk wearing a robe of coarse wool, wearing a sackcloth, small in stature, pale and gaunt.
He spent almost ten years in Tagliacozzo in a small cell built near the Monastery, engaging in prayer, reading, work, running the Convent Church and effective Preaching.
Many miracles accompanied his activity in Tagliacozzo and continued after his death which occurred on 14 January 1200. Blessed Pius IX approved the cult and the title of Blessed on 31 May 1859. He was very honoured in the past centuries, especially by Tagliacozzo which was the only town of the region to escape the terrible earthquake of 14 January 1784, the day of his feast.