Saint of the Day – 14 April – Saint John of Montemarano OSB (Died 1095) First Bishop of Montenarano, Italy in 1074, Benedictine Monk, thaumaturge. Died on 14 April 1095 of natural causes. Patronage – Montemarano, Italy. Additional Memorial – 21 August in Motemarano.
Montemarano, Italy may be a sleepy little vineyard Town now but from 1059 to 1818, it was the seat of a Diocese. The Town’s first Bishop is appropriately its Patron Saint.
I can find no information online about his early life and path to the Priesthood. His career begins with Pope Gregory VII, who had been exiled by Emperor Henry IV; during that exile, he agreed with the good folks of Montemarano that they should have their own Bishop. John was appointed and duly consecrated.
When John took over his seat, the building was in a state of decay. John then led the congregation in prayer for the means to restore the building. As they prayed, it was revealed to John, that the local Priest had been living a sinful life and actually using the Church as a rendezvous for evil friends. Once this Priest had repented and performed suitable penance, the Church was miraculously restored to its former glory.
Another miracle involved, wine. Some workers were clearing land so that more vineyards could be planted. One source suggests that John was the inspiration for this land-clearing project and he was involved in the labour as well. The work was hard and they demanded more wine before they continued. But there wasn’t enough wine, so they needed more vineyards. They couldn’t expand the vineyards until they gave the workers more wine. Bishop John, drew a quantity of water from the nearby river and blessed it. The Lord, recalling the second chapter of the Gospel of John, changed the water into wine!