Saint of the Day – 17 February – Saint Constabilis of Cava OSB (c 1070-1124) Abbot, miracle-worker, known as “The Blanket of the Brothers” for gus gentle kindness and caring humility for all the Monks in their trials and sorrows. He is the Patron Saint of the Town of Castellabate in Cilento, which he founded in 1123 and whose name clearly indicates it. Born in c 1070 at Lucania, Italy and died on 17 February 1124 at Cava de’ Tirreni of natural causes. Patronages – • Castelabbate, Italy, of sailors, since 1979 he has been elevated to Co-Patron of the Diocese of Vallo della Lucania. Also known as – Constabile, Costabile.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “In the monastery of Cava de ‘Tirreni in Campania, Saint Constabilis, Abbot: – for his extraordinary meekness and his charity towards everyone, he was commonly called the “Blanket” of the brothers.”
Constabilis was born around 1070 at Tresino, in Lucania to the noble Gentilcore family. At the age of seven, he was entrusted to the care of Abbot of Cava, St Leo I.
He became a Monk at the Abbey, which followed the Benedictine Rule . Constabilis zealously lived the Rule to perfection and was entrusted by the Abbot to manage important negotiations and transactions on behalf of the Abbey.
On 10 January 1118, he was promoted by Abbot St Peter of Pappacarbone to the position of Coadjutor. He subsequently succeeded Peter as the Abbot after the latter’s death on 4 March 1122. His work was carried out with kindness, understanding for each of the Monks and their individual problems, without imposing authoritarian superiority over them. He approached each with humility and gentleness in his administration of the Abbey,.
He died on 17 February 1124 at the age of around 53 and was buried in the part of the Church overlooking the ‘Arsicia’ Cave used by St Alferius. After his death he appeared several times to his successor Abbots, coming to their aid in contingencies, there are records of his miraculous interventions for the salvation of the ships, which later belonged to the famous Abbey. These miraculous intercessions granted him widespread veneration as the protector of sailors.
On 21 December 1893, Pope Leo XIII recognised the ancient verneration and the title of Saint, to the first four Abbots, of the famous Abbey of Trinità di Cava dei Tirreni, founded in the 11th century. They are St Alferius the Founder and first Abbot († 1050), St Leo I (1050-1079), St Peter Pappacarbone (1079-1123) and St Constabilis (c 1122-1124). Their relics rest in the Abbey Church in the Chapel of the Saintly Fathers.’
If you would like to discover St Alferius, his Biography is here: