Saint of the Day – 22 March – Saint Benevenuto Scotivoli of Osimo (c 1188-1282) Bishop of Osimo from 13 March 1264-his death on 22 March 1282, Reformer, apostle of the poor. Born in c 1188 in Ancona, Italy and died on 22 March 1282 in Osimo, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – Osimo, City and Diocese, Italy.
Benevenuto was born in Ancona of the noble Scotivoli family in around 1188. He studied theology and law in Bologna under the guidance of Silvestro Gussolino, Canon of Osimo. There he was a great friend of St Silvestro Abate of Osima. After his studies he was Ordained to Holy Orders. He was then appointed Papal Chaplain and, before 1262, Archdeacon of Ancona.
Benevenuto was highly esteemed by Pope Urban IV and was sent by him to Osimo with the aim of restoring order and peace in the City, which had passed a period of turbulence and rebellion and for this reason had also lost the Bishopric. On 1 August 1263 he became administrator of the Diocese of Osimo and by his reforms, he fulfilled his Papal mission. Now Benevenuto decided to fulfil his great desire and wear the Franciscan habit. Prior to entering the Friary, in preparing himself, he distributed all his possessions to the poor.
But his plans were to be thwarted for having re-established the Bishopric of Osima, Pope Urban IV, on 13 March 1264, entrusted its government to Benvenuto, who in 1267 was also commissioned to hold the civil government of the March of Ancona. In this period he Ordained St Nicholas of Tolentino.
Benvenuto was a great reformer – with a provision dated 15 January 1270, in fact, he forbade the monastery of St Fiorenzo di Posciavalle, of which he had been appointed administrator, to alienate its assets; in a Synod held on 7 February 1273, he also forbade the sale of ecclesiastical properties and in 1274, finally, he implemented the reform of the chapter of his Cathedral and defended the rights of his Diocese over the City of Cingoli.
In his pastoral care of his Diocese, he was both energetic and magnanimous in forgiveness. He gave all he had and ate little in order to give the rest to the poor. He also had to suffer persecution from some Monks who were unwilling to accept his fight against abuse.
Benvenuto died on 22 March 1282 and was succeeded by Berardo, elected by Pope Martin IV on 18 January 1283. He was buried in the Cathedral Church of Osimo, in a noble mausoleum prepared by the clergy and the people.In July 1590, his relics were translated to the Crypt of the same Cathedral.
Many miracles took place aat his tomb and the cult rendered to him, by the faithful, was already mentioned in the Statutes of Osimo of 1308, while indulgences are said to have been granted by Pope Eugene IV in 1432.
Benvenuto, was Canonised in 1284 by Pope Martin IV and he was declared the patron of the City of Osimo in 1755, his feast, in the Diocese of Osimo and Cingoli, Franciscan Order, is the day of his entry into heaven, today, 22 March.
Inspection of his tomb revealed a dark capuche sewn to a lambskin and it led to the biographer Jean Baldi, asserting that Scotivoli was a Franciscan which became an accepted proposition. But in 1765 the Osimo Priest Pannelli, contended that he was not a member of the Friars Minor, although he lived many of the St Francis’ rules. The Saint is still recognised on the Franciscan calendar.
Roman martyrology: “In Osimo in the Marches, St Benvenuto Scotivoli, Bishop, who, appointed there by Pope Urban IV, promoted peace among the citizens and, in the spirit of the Friars Minor, wanted to die on the bare earth.”