Saint of the Day – 28 March – Blessed Antonio Patrizi OSA (c 1280-1311) Priest, Friar of the Order of St Augustine, Prior, Hermit. Born in c 1280 in Siena, Italy and died in c 1311 in Monticiano, Italy. His body is incorrupt.
Anthonio Patrizi was born in Siena sometime in the thirteenth century, although the exact date and year are not known. He was the son of Pietro and Ginerva Patrizi of the prominent house of Patrizi with its origins from Rome.
In 1287 he was entrusted to the Order of Preachers for his studies. On one particular Christmas Eve night, in the Basilica di San Domenico, he was inspired to visit the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala on Christmas day, where he met Pietro de’ Piccolomini who suggested that the two both go to enroll in the Order of Saint Augustine at Leccet. They accordingly proceeded to Leccet, leaving the following day, 26 December and were immediately admitted into the novitiate.
Antonio joined the Order of St Augustine in Lecceto and lived as a Hermit in the Monastery of Lecceto, renowned for its emphasis on contemplative life and the holiness of many of its members. It was here that other well known Friars such as Clement of Osimo, Agostino Novello and William Flete also lived at various times. He was appointed at one point as the Prior of his Lecceto Convent.
Anonio died sometime just after midnight on 23 April 1311 at the Convent of Monticiano, where he was spending the night, while on a visit to his Florentine friend Pietro da Collegonzi.
In the book A Brief Life of Some Hermit Friars by the Anonymous Florentine, the story of Anthonio’s death is recounted. It tells of how, on the night on which he died, assistants of an elderly and gravely ill couple who lived nearby, were looking out a window of the sick couple’s house, which faced the Monastery. They saw coming from the Monastery a brilliant light that appeared to touch the sky. At first they thought that the Monastery was burning but as they watched, they saw that it was not a fire but that there must be, in the Monastery, someone whose holiness touched the heavens. The sick couple also came to the window, saw the light and began to pray, asking that this unknown holy person would heal them of their illness. Immediately they were restored to health. They went to the Monastery, told the Friars what had happened and asked to see the holy man. The Friars went to the room of their guest and discovered that Anthonio had died.
Antonio’s remains were interred in a grave where it was said to have caused lilies to grow during the wintertime. His incorrupt remains were later transferred to the local church of Santi Pietro e Paolo – later renamed in his honour – and were transferred on two more occasions in 1616 and 1700.
Antonio received formal Beatification from Pope Pius VII on 1 March 1804 after the latter ratified the Antonio’s local ‘cultus’ – or popular devotion – that had endured from his death.