Saint of the Day – 23 April – Saint Giorgio di Suelli (Died 1117) Bishop, apostle of the poor, miracle-worker. Born in the 11th century Cagliari, Italy and died on 23 April 1117 at Suelli, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – against famine, of te Diocese of Lanusei, Italy, Suelli, Italy. He is also known as George of Suelli.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Suelli in Sardinia, commemoration of St George, Bishop.”
According to his ancient biography, the only reliable source, Giorgio was born in the 11th century in Cagliari, Italy. His mothers had been childless, it was late in her life and she was visited in a dream by an angel who foretold the birth. His parents Lucifer and Vivenzia, were serfs of a certain Greek but virtuous and God-fearing man.
Already as a child, Giorgio proved to be penitent and full of virtue; He studied Latin and Greek, which ,at that time, was of great importance and consideration and at the age of 22, he was appointed Bishop of Suelli.
For the Diocese he was a true shepherd, a lover of the poor whom he helped and of whom he had a list. He was devoted to prayer and fasting and lived a life of penitence and poverty.
The Lord gratified him with the gift of miracles some mentioned include the resurrected a boy in Lotzorai and the cure of a blind man in Urzulei. It is not clear how long he ruled the Diocese but he died on 23 April 1117 and was buried in his Cathedral.
The Bisopric of Suelli (south-eastern Sardinia) appears in documents for the first time at the beginning of the 11th century; the cult of George was already widespread at least from the beginning of the thirteenth century.
This is confirmed by the Office in his honour, the Churches dedicated to him in Suelli, Lotzorai, Urzulei, Perfugas, Ossi, Anela, Bitti and the Chapels in Tortolì and Girasole.
In Cagliari in 1601, the Bishop Lasso Sedeno, transformed, into a Church, a house in the district of Stampace, considered to be the birthplace of the holy Bishop, Giorgio and also established the annual feast on 23 April. A Canon opposed this honour, as he considered the existence and life of Giorgio to be untrue,claiming instead, that it he the same St George Martyr also remembered today.
To clarify the situation, the Bishop’s successor, Msgr Desquivel had historical research carried out, the results of which, were sent to Rome to the Sacred Congregation of Rites. In 1609 Pope Paul V definitively confirmed the cult of George, Bishop of Suelli and Canonised him.
His mitre is kept in the Cathedral of Cagliari where he is buried and the faithful venerate him there. He is invoked against famine.